I wanna live forever...

There’s a lot of talk about ‘brands’ and ‘brand identity’ – loads of research, and masses of data and analysis. For those of you not privileged enough to work in the jargon-driven world of Marketing, it’s probably fair to say that a lot of it is cobblers.

In an overly simplistic view of the world, it’s as easy as this – if ‘the man on the Clapham omnibus’ can correctly recognise your product, logo, strapline, or hum your tune unprompted – you’ve probably got a brand (as opposed to a product, logo, strapline or tune). And if they learn more about you through news and social feeds, you’ve definitely got a brand.

And that’s when things get a bit more interesting, because your brand and your business can be very different things. People will naturally make judgments and draw conclusions about your business from the way they perceive your brand. What does it say about you? Does your brand position you in the high-end design, desirability and price bracket - or is it tying you to the low cost budget end of the products and service spectrum?

And what happens if the brand people recognise isn’t a true reflection of the business you run?

History is littered with examples of companies that don’t live up to their brand image, or they just implode due to reasons few people could have predicted (see Ratners, Lehman Bros, Blockbuster etc etc)

The enduring ‘brands’ manage to combine style and substance in a way that doesn’t confuse people, and is an accurate portrayal of what the customer experiences when they spend their money. If you can win people’s hearts and minds when you shout about what you do so well (by investing heavily in targeted advertising and marketing) it really resonates. In essence, successful brands create trust.  

Now, I’m lucky to work in a medium where creating trust is relatively easy. Radio Advertising’s personal ‘endorsement from a friend’ effect is still massively powerful. All the studies show that it can and does strengthen people’s relationships with advertisers in ways that other media simply can’t. The challenge lies in knowing what the short and long term effects of those powerful messages will be on your brand, and your business.     

 So, it’s easy. To create ‘Brand Fame’ and riches beyond your wildest dreams, just provide a product or service that enough people really really want, and promote it in a way that doesn’t confuse or mislead them. And use radio!

Paul Carter