Let’s start at the very beginning.
Memory is one of life’s most wondrous gifts. Our capacity as humans to recall, recognise and then respond is how we make complex decisions quickly and easily. We use all of our senses and react in milliseconds, often completely unconsciously.
Take this example - pause for a moment, then take a breath and complete this sentence:
So, what happened? Did you complete the lyric and do you know where it’s from? Did you smile? Have you heard it once or seen a thousand times? Can you recall who you were with or where you were?
Having an answer to any of those questions shows the power of the human mind. By using a previously embedded trigger, we may have helped you recall from a mountain of memories and, if you smiled, relive an emotion. All with just a few words, completely out of context. (If this made entirely no sense - there is an incredible movie experience awaiting you. The lyric is the opening line of the song Do, Re, Mi from the timeless “The Sound of Music.” It may be intriguing to know that Mandy (AMBA MD) met the real Maria von Trapp in the 1970’s at the Von Trapp family lodge in Vermont, USA. Imagine that - you are now only one-person removed!)
Branding works in precisely the same way. Over time your Brand is embedded within the minds of your consumers so that when needed, your product or service comes quickly to mind. Good branding makes life easier by helping us find the things we want fast. Humans are all emotional beings who occasionally think, emotional triggers trump rational argument every day. Brand is the bridge.
Talk to some entrepreneurs/business managers and you’ll hear that arguably none of the brand stuff matters because it’s all about the product or service - the differentiation, the quality, the price, etc. Without a good offer, they say, the brand is meaningless. And, of course, they are right.
You do need to have an offer.
The reality for most, though, is that their competitors do or say much the same thing. They even share the customers with those competitors (let me show you the data) and then seemed surprised to find that most consumers believe all products in the same category are basically identical. Think about Banks, Baked Beans, Milk.
Despite how great your product is, consumers will always gravitate towards (and pay more for) brands they recognise and understand. In the long run, brand is key to capturing commercial value. Change the recipe, update the product, just don’t change my brand. While a great product may be crucial to gaining repeat purchase, brand forms the anchor.
What makes a Brand strong?
Good brand strategy must be easy for all stakeholders to understand or implementation will forever be compromised. AMBA, for example, has a system that collates all of the meaningful data into 3 page report that focuses all the important decisions. Page One defines the brand in words (10 small handfuls), Page Two captures the essence with visuals, and Page Three outlines all distinctive assets. We use this format as the basis to create brands from scratch or to refresh and reinvigorate.
The AMBA BRAND BLOCKS system is very much ‘Follow The Evidence’. from what’s happening in the market to what the sales data shows, to insights from consumer research and social media.
Why use a system?