Monday, December 1, 2014

3 Lessons in Branding

Branding... It is important in business because branding create perception. Our brain work with association. Whatever our brain associate, it will tend to make generalization.

Branding is important for organization, product and personal as well. But why we need branding?

1. Visibility is more important than ability
Last week I attended an exhibition, MAHA 2014. Large exhibition with international participation. They have this band playing at the food court to entertain those who are enjoying the meal. I was there with my family listening to the band playing with some wrong chords, not so in tune vocalist and drummer who once in a while out of tempo. I was asking myself, I could play better with my ex-band. But I think again, why didn't they called me? Because I was not visible to the organizer.

How many times have you join a seminar and turns out the speaker was not as good as you expect and with information that you think unvaluable to you. At the same time the person sit next to you have the same opinion with you. And you think I could do better than that. But why didn't the organizer invite you instead? Because you are not visible. I have seen the same person from a seminar to a seminar and I think that he is not that competent enough, but still he was everywhere. Because he is more visible than any other options.

2. Perception is more powerful than reality
Brand is nothing but a perception. Our brain has this little thing called Reticular Activating System which allows us to focus. What we focus on become our perception. When we decide it is always based on perception. We don't normally decide based on facts and figures because we simply don't have time to do so. Our brain love shortcuts and it will refer to the file stored in our brain of our previous experience on something or perception that we created from that experience.

Once the experience is there, our brain tend to make certain kind of generalization. For example, if we said it is made in Japan, what comes to your mind? For most of us, we will think that it is high quality. Why? Because that is our perception towards products made in Japan. Eventhough we have never use one, but we heard from what the general public said. If I change the statement of made in China, what is your perception towards that? Repetition is a good way to create perception.

3. Trust is the most valuable asset
People do business with people they like. Trust is the keyword. If you have certain level of trust, you have won the game. I am a very loyal fan of Apple because I trust in the vision of Steve Jobs in product that he designed. Until now, after he's no longer here, the trust level is still there. Even there are some disadvantages of using Apple products, but I am willing to accept, as how a couple willing to accept the weaknesses exist in their partner. Be careful not to lose trust, because once it is gone, it is difficult to get it back.

Same goes to business. If someone like you, even-though you are not the best of the best with the best price in the market, people want to do business with you. Make yourself likeable. Make your brand likeable and people will do business with you.

Branding is more valuable than money. You know how much Nike shoes worth with just a Swoosh logo.
Branding is more important than sales. If you have a good reputable brand, you don't have to sell to hard.
Branding is not logic. Branding influence people better because it touches our emotion. Emotion will determine WHY people do something.

Develop your brand.
Be it your organization, product or personal brand.