Ask any branding specialist or any marketer for that matter what a brand is and they will start to talk about identity. And that is perfectly correct. Brands are identities. They are belief systems. They are what a company stands for.
They are not selling. But if you head out on Twitter and spend more than five minutes looking at your feed you will see a ton of selling going on. People just love to sell. They may spend a few seconds giving you some news but a few minutes later there are fifty tweets that point right back to their homepage.
Having a strong brand means you don’t have to sell as much as you used to. Some brands are so strong they just need to open up the doors to make a sale. No benefits required. Just a few features here and there, and a smile.
Think Apple. Think Coca Cola.
Or think IBM in this amazing video. Here, you have a company that has never changed it’s reason for doing what it does, and has never made it’s branding about the products that it sells.
By keeping branding about a set of ideas and a clear approach, IBM has been able to develop a strong public face.
And as a result of branding about the message rather than the product, that branding, in turn, sells more products.
No benefits to sell, just a bunch of features here and there, and a smile.
Funny how that works, isn’t it?