Many people ask “what makes up a brand?” The question that should be asked is “what does not make up a brand?”

The brand is what you have promised to your customers.

The brand is the total essence or vision of the founder’s and management’s unique promise to constituents.

The Brand Is That Total Essence Or Vision:

  • Defined
  • Standardized
  • Identified
  • Packaged into simple concepts
  • To be communicated
  • To be trained
  • To become part of the very being of the company
  • To define the company’s culture
  • To define the company’s personality

Your company has promised to deliver the highest. Therefore—every single thought, decision, communication and action must embody the highest.

  • The people
  • The products
  • The service
  • The visuals

These must all be totally committed to the brand vision. They are all to:

  • Carry that brand vision
  • Manifest that brand vision
  • Multiply that brand vision
  • Reinforce that brand vision
  • Perpetuate that brand vision

The Two Types Of Brands

There are only two types of brands:

1. A brand built with total awareness. We call this type of brand a “national brand” or the “ultimate brand.”

2. A brand built with partial awareness. We call this type of brand a “local brand” or an “average” brand.

No company will ever become #1, or meet and maintain grand goals, without building their brand with total awareness, without aiming for the ultimate. This summary gives our vision as to what constitutes the “ultimate brand.” It also shows that it is very similar to most existing brands, but with total awareness and creative excellence being added to the picture.

Brand/Corporate Standards

Before a brand can be built and communicated to constituents it must be specified and defined. There must be a definitions process. This process creates a set of brand and corporate standards that every thought, decision, communication or action will be measured against.

  • Everyone must agree on them
  • Everyone must be trained into them
  • Everyone must live by them
  • Everyone must be part of building them.

Everyone must come to understand that their #1 responsibility is to do their part to build the company’s brand.

Remember, most brands are:

  • Being built with either total awareness, or with partial awareness.
  • Existing thoughts, decisions, communications and actions are already occurring in offices and locations around the world either with or without having defined standards to measure them against. These are either building the brand or destroying the brand.

These standards, once set, drive everything. They will help determine:

  • Product strategy
  • Service strategy
  • Pricing strategy
  • Personnel strategy
  • Infrastructure strategy
  • Communication strategy
  • Sales strategy

The Brand is the Total Experience.

Many people ask “what makes up a brand?” The question that should be asked is “what does not make up a brand?”

This point cannot be stressed or repeated enough. Every single aspect of a company’s existence either builds or destroys their brand.  Some examples:

If a company considers itself to be a Mercedes, but customers see staff wear T-shirts with studs in their ears—is this a human resources issue or a brand issue?

If accounting should send out an inaccurate invoice with poor graphics—is this an accounting issue or a brand issue?

What does it do to a customer’s experience if:

  • The office windows are dirty?
  • If a receptionist is inattentive or unfriendly?
  • If bathrooms are not clean?
  • If the phone is answered slowly or rudely?
  • If the janitor is not in uniform?
  • If the parking lot is inconvenient?
  • If payables are not timely?
  • If every email format is different?

As you can see by these few examples, everything contributes to the brand image with no exceptions. Therefore, the essence of the brand promise must be defined, standardized, packaged, communicated and trained in the correct manner to every internal and external constituent.

We are sure you can see from this overview of a brand why we see the ultimate brand as being “a complex cluster of value satisfactions.”