History of Brands
The word brand originates in the process of branding livestock to show ownership. This process later developed into branding products and services to show value. The brand has always acted symbolically, meaning that people have always connected certain brands with certain added values. This could be seen with the quality of livestock produced by different farmers back in the day and can still be seen in the varying quality of the different products that we buy today.
What is a brand today?
Brands have developed quite considerably from a system of ownership to a system of perceived value and symbolism. Today, brands are much more than logos and buzz lines. Brands today go much deeper and effect a larger number of variables. Your brand changes the way you interact with costumers and staff, the way you write up contracts and the people that you hire. A brand is a huge and complex entity that can improve the overall functioning and subsequent performance of your company. A brand today is about having a clear understanding of why your company exists and understanding what you need to do to make this brand’s purpose a reality.
How can your brand help your company?
A strong brand that is embraced throughout your company’s value chain has the ability to differentiate you from your competitors. By having a clear brand purpose, you are able to lead your company from a position of authority. Brands that have been carefully constructed create relationships with consumers that last.
In practice this can be as simple as understanding why your brand exists and then making sure that your employees understand how they can help achieve your brands purpose in everything that they do. Branding is a long term investment, that when done correctly, can simplify your companies offering and make your costumers experience memorable.
South African Tourism recently released the #MeetSouthAfrica campaign. The campaign positions South Africa as a location where the people are its biggest asset. As a branding exercise it was extremely successful as it embraces the power of people to create lasting experiences. This will have a long lasting effect both externally and internally for South African Tourism.