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A Logo Is Not Enough - Why it is increasingly important for Brands to have a personality.

Opinion 05 March 2013 by JuKe

Brands

After attending last week’s Creative Social talk on Storytelling, it got me thinking how we visually tell stories. Gone are the days when all you need is an eye-catching logo. A logo is simply the visual display of what you stand for… And that just isn’t enough anymore.

People are less receptive to brands without personality. Consumers are more likely to use products and adopt a brand of choice, if it’s clear what that brand stand for; their brand values need to back up what they are saying with actions – so that the fantasy and reality of the brand aren’t miles apart.

In the past / beginning, advertisers would look for a product’s USP (unique selling point) and more likely than not they would contrive a story around that with a strong marketing message at its core. With fewer brands in existence, companies were able to make claims that their products were the tastiest, fastest, last the longest, all without qualifying their statements.

But of course brands cannot do that now. In a highly competitive marketplace, the personality of your brand is a key element in defining customer experience. You cannot simply say to consumers “Buy my stuff it’s amazing, it’s the best”. Nor are brand stories solely created internally or through an agency, people have various different platforms for making their own stories about brands and can qualify what they say with their own experiences, and this is information that peers, friends and family trust and look for when making consumer decisions. Consumers are now able to join the story at any point on the purchase journey, molding and developing the brand image and how it’s perceived. Even having an influence on where it sits in the market. Whether these authors love or hate you, brands have to be brave, bite the bullet and react in an appropriate manner. It may make them a stronger for it.

Brands need to look at the way they behave and act to enable and unlock stories – making sure that they engage and involve consumers. Earlier this year, Lego won the hearts of millions with their ‘human’ response to a letter from a 7 year old boy who had lost his mini figures on a shopping trip.

lego2

Remembering a brand is a promise to consumers, it’s emotional and psychological, Its a lifestyle choice, it’s what people perceive, feel and believe about an organisation and embodies its message.  But in order to keep a promise, you first need to make one. This is where acting and saying work together to boost your stories and define your brand. What you do as a brand is now just as important as what you say as a brand. A very strong example of this ethos is Red Bull, it is a Brand that acts, evokes the adrenalin rush and outdoor adventures, and brings people together to share in the experience. Their stories and actions are bigger than just the energy drink that they sell.

It’s important to distinguish between brand identity (internal perception and aspiration of the brand) and brand image (external perception). This may even involve companies dealing with the uncomfortable truth of a brand.

“Tell Me and I Will Forget; Show Me and I May Remember; Involve Me and I Will Understand.”

- ‘Confucius, 450BC’

Here are a few great examples of how companies have shown that they have a human side through their actions – backing up what they are saying as a brand and ultimately making them stronger:

Bodyform Responds: The Truth
Bodyform Responds: The Truth

Lego
Lego Scores (as above) with the great reply to a boy who lost his Ninja

small business
Small Business Saturday by American Express

100 club
Converse @ 100 club

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