In this 3-part series, we will first dive into what is a brand and its axioms.
The 2nd part we will reason “why” companies usually overlook branding, by not assigning hierarchical function to branding as a continuous exercise.
Finally, we will conclude with how ignoring branding curtails wealth creation for companies.
–Let’s jump right into it.
Branding at its core is all about building and managing human interactions (of an individual, product or an enterprise as a whole) across physical and digital space-time. Branding as an activity has some core processes, stages, and strategies which vary depending on the type of culture and region they are being executed. However, in this part we will focus on something even more important and deeper, something which according to us forms the core axiom of branding – Interactions, Emotions, and feelings.
With the advent of digital communities triggering strong network effects (nfx), it has never been more important to learn about how branding can help a company discover the right community fit which once plugged into can create compounding bandwagon effects. (Diagram 1.)
Diagram 1. Bandwagon lies to the farther side of the map above, next to it you also see BRAND listed as a type of network effect.
Interactions are at the basis of understanding how brand building works in real life, for an artist, a small business or a large corporation operating within a market. We consider human interactions to be the “focal point” and how to curate, maneuver, and augment to build everlasting experiences.
Every interaction, an email communication, phone call, a digital ad banner or a physical billboard intended to advertise your product/service/name is triggering an inter-play of emotions and feelings leading up to a positive or a negative perception. Let us visualize. (Diagram 2.)
Diagram 2. Multitude of Interactions arise out of various “events triggered” via several possibilities.
The very act of any event taking place is the trigger (a causation) , be it a marketing campaign or a sales event, or employees working and interacting within an organization to email/phone communications with clients and vendors alike. They all trigger several distinct types of emotions and feelings which start forming into an image (perception) of the brand thereby underpinning brand value.
Emotions and feelings, let us formalize that we view them as two distinct facets of the human mind. If you are curious, you can read this article here, to know the difference between the two, for now, let us keep moving – Emotions and feelings have a direct impact on “human behavior” and “actions.” For instance, the urge to click on the hyperlink above the moment your cursor interacted with it.
We can safely agree that interactions of most kinds can have varying degree of positive (+) or negative (-) psychological and physiological effects. Let us visualize for a better understanding (Diagram 3.)
Diagram 3. Interactions trigger Weak to Strong (+/-) Emotions, feelings, and behavior/actions
Naturally, any individual or a company would like to build interactions which land on the positive spectrum of the diagram (3). The more an interaction resonates with the perceiver the stronger the intensity, and this works both ways. The list of marketing fails which backfired is awfully long, as such every interaction and its journey needs to be well thought out and mapped visually to understand all the touch points which trigger various interactions thereby leading to stronger positives emotions resulting in favorable user behavior and actions.
At this point, it is obvious that understanding not only user pain and pleasure points, but any legitimate information that can help curate a granular level user persona overtime will lead to carving ever-lasting experiences thereby augmenting brand value. While authoring this article we deliberately chose not to talk about the 4D’s or 6 stages of branding, instead we wanted to display a mental map of how we believe interactions, emotions, feelings, and actions tie together to form the axioms of understanding which can help on how to chalk out any branding plan no matter the culture or region. Let us visualize the axioms (foundation). (Diagram 4.)
Diagram 4. Axioms of branding at inter-play with each other.
In the next part of the series, we will dive into why companies tend to overlook branding as an activity and not designate it hierarchically along with other essential functions like marketing and operations.
” This blog offers generic information. By no means, it is professional advice. The information aforementioned is believed to be factually correct. The information provided is solely based on the author’s judgment and is subject to change. This is not endorsed by any 3rd parties or other brands.”