We might be using ‘product’ a lot in the course of this content but in actual sense, we refer generally to whatever it is that is being offered to a target audience; products and services inclusive. Also, Kokiri Farms is something we made up just to paint a clearer picture. Pardon us.
Ok! So, branding, as we like to say, is the professional act of shaping to our desire, the impression our target audience has of our product.
Say, we all own equity in a farm called Kokiri Farms and our purpose – the good cause for which we chose to set up the farm – is to provide people with healthy beef. The desired impression we wish to create in the mind of our target audience aka prospects and acquired customers is that we are a trusted source of healthy beef. Everything we do from strategy to communication to reinforce that message in the mind of the audience is referred to as branding.
If we implement for Kokiri Farms, a killer strategy that hits the bull’s eye and roll out marketing communications with effective messages and stunning designs, the farm will become attractive to those who come in contact with the communication and a number of them will visit our sales point.
If our staff and environment clearly communicate the message of healthy beef, the audience will buy from us. If they eat and become healthy, they will buy some more again and again.
Our branding is working. Great!
However, say everything remains just as great except for, each time our customers eat the beef, they suffer from mad cow disease and a series of other health issues, will they continue to buy our product? Definitely not!
The great branding will continue to attract new paying audiences but none of the old ones will come back. With time, word of mouth will spread that Kokiri Farms can be trusted for bad beef and even the attracted audience who have never bought from us before will not attempt to risk it. In fact, the popularity of the brand brought about by the great branding will now be the catalyst that speeds up the farm’s death.
The tale of Kokiri applies to every form of product offered or service rendered. A brand, people’s impression, is molded by kept or broken promises. If our branding effectively reinforces our message to deliver on something and then we consistently do not deliver, our branding, no matter how great, will not keep the business alive, rather, it will speed up its death.