The title of this post is my summary of Tom Asacker’s definition of branding. I hope you’ll read his entire post. But, if you don’t or won’t take the time, here are a few key quotes…
Our expectations of brands are created by a combination of factors; e.g. packaging (how something looks and feels), promotion (what we’ve seen, heard, or read about it), word-of-mouth (what friends have told us), past experience (the feeling we’ve received from choosing and using it), etc. Great brands become great because those various factors reinforce our expectation of receiving the desired feeling.
The key to brand success is to stay tuned in to consumer’s changing desires, create an expectation that your brand can fulfill those unfulfilled desires, and then deliver on that expectation over time. And don’t forget that people’s expectations are always changing, based on what they are exposed to in the marketplace.
Don’t get confused by all of the brand and marketing noise. It’s only going to get louder as the money continues to flow out of mass media. Instead, get as close as you can to your audience. Close enough so that you’ll only have to whisper to be heard, and so that you’ll be able to feel the reaction.