Your Brand is what other people say about you when you are not in the room
– Jeff Bezos, CEO, Amazon
Here’s a true story. Few years back, people at a marketplace came across a new doughnut stall that offered doughnuts for tasting on the day. In return, people were asked how they liked the doughnuts and how much they would pay for it. People absolutely loved the taste. However, most of them were willing to pay no more than what the other doughnut stalls in the market would charge, with a few people happy to pay higher, only just. Then they were asked why they wouldn’t pay more. The common answer? “What’s different about it? It tastes good, so do the other doughnuts in the market!”
The stall owners then revealed, these are Krispy Kreme doughnuts! The reaction of the people changed as soon as they found out what those doughnuts really were. The stall then did a second round of tasting, only this time, people knew they were tasting Krispy Kreme doughnuts. Word flew fast, huge queues were formed as people came in from all directions, many of them who weren’t even planning to go to the market that day. People now indicated they were happy to pay much higher than the 1st round.
What had changed? The doughnuts were the same, the marketplace was the same. There was one thing that had changed, people were exposed to the brand of the doughnuts they were offered. Once they knew the brand, the doughnuts became ‘different’ from the locally available ones. For those who aren’t avid doughnut fans, Krispy Kreme is one of the most popular doughnut chains in the world. Stores operate in multiple countries, and lining up for a Krispy Kreme according to a fair few, is “one of the small joys to live for”.
Ok, I am a doughnut fan. However, this is not really about Krispy Kreme. It’s what Krispy Kreme and many successful businesses, across multiple industries have created over time: their Brand. What is a brand, and how is it different from a business? Classically, a brand is defined as a name, symbol or any other feature that identifies a business’s goods or services as distinct from other businesses. So does having a business implies having a brand? Not really. The local doughnut stalls at the market were all businesses- what really differentiated them? A business without a brand is essentially a commodity. With commodities, people don’t see the value, they see the price.
Why should a business have a brand? Simply put, the brand of a business contributes to its growth. By having a brand, a business extends its reach to its target audience. People connect with a brand, and this connection, when extended over a large audience ensures growth of the business. In this article, we look at 3 key reasons why your brand drives your business growth.
A brand is what distinguishes your business from others, it is very much an identity of your business. There may be many amazing things your business does for customers, if people cannot identify or connect with what your business does or stands for, chances they won’t become your customers. And where would a business be without customers? A wonderful example of this is Apple, who people relate to for innovation. Every time Apple launches a new product, people can expect something innovative, and they want to be associated with it. Somehow explains why people queue up before every iPhone launch.
2. Increased collaboration:
Going by an alternate definition, the brand is a business’s message to the world- what it stands for, what it’s capabilities are, and why should they connect with it. The world implies not just customers and prospects, but also the people who collaborate and help the business in its delivery- its employees, suppliers and partners.
By connecting to a common message, there is an increased synergy. By aligning with the brand, they have a clear understanding of the purpose of the business, what the business intends to deliver, and how. As this happens, customers have a positive experience every single time. This means that their expectations are consistently met, even exceeded. This grows their trust in the brand, and they become raving fans of the business. The result? More repeat business and a positive word of mouth, that attracts new customers. This augurs well for business growth, and the brand as well. Companies such as Virgin and Apple are great examples where their employees and collaborators are well aligned with the brand, and their results are well known.
3. Your Personal Brand:
As entrepreneurs, we are often the face of our business. Hence, it’s also important to have a personal brand in addition to the business brand. Why so? Customers don’t essentially buy your goods or services, they buy you, what you stand for. The more credibility you build, the more easily customers connect with you and buy. Think of the Virgin group, and you automatically think of Sir Richard Branson. His brand is such that, whatever he does for Virgin, creates news, and interest in the Virgin brand as well.
To summarise, the brand of a business creates a uniqueness, an identity which others connect with, and synergy within the business to not just deliver as per customer’s expectations, but to exceed them. It is imperative that for any business, its leaders have a clear vision of the brand they want to create and inspire others to achieve that vision.
Arpan Roy is a Leadership Consultant and Trainer. His key belief is that leadership is vital for growth of any business. Through Arman Consultancy, his business venture, he collaborates with leaders in businesses to define productivity and profit to achieve accelerated business growth. He specialises in various methodologies such as Values Pendulum®, Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP) and Deep State Repatterning®. Using these, he identifies the cause of unrealised individual performance and business growth and creates effective and sustainable models for change that empower his clients to achieve the desired results. Arpan is based in Melbourne, Australia with his wife Manasee, who is also his business partner. If you are curious about how you can enhance your leadership to make a difference to your business or organisation, you can contact Arpan at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.blueprintforleadership.com