What is a brand? A brand is often mistaken as a variety of different things and it’s important to understand its ambiguous nature. A brand is not simply the logo, nor the visual identity. A brand is not the product, the slogan or the advertising campaign. A brand is not even controlled by the company behind it. Rather a brand is a collection of perceptions that reside in the mind of the customer. It is the gut feeling a customer has about you. While you may not have direct control over your brand, you most certainly are its steward. Every interaction the customer has with you influences their perceptions. The product experience, customer service, slogans, ads, and even product manuals all contribute to the customer perception of your company or product. Your job is to cultivate, guard, and maintain a strong brand – the rewards of which are consistently loyal customers and a continual increase in customer preference.

What makes a good brand? A good brand communicates a clear message about what it stands for and how it differs from competitors. It stems from your product positioning and customers understand and internalize the brand through its consistent use. Each touch point within your customers’ experience should seek to reinforce this same message. With a well crafted strategy, a good brand begins to look more like a belief system than anything else. It takes on a vibrant life of its own, and customers will stand behind the brand, adopting its claims and evangelizing it to others.

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