In this Expert Insight Interview, Nick Horan discusses what a brand is. Nick Horan is the Global Brand Experience Lead at Reckitt.
This Expert Insight Interview discusses:
- The definition of a brand and how it has changed over the centuries
- What a brand is in the modern society
- Why authenticity is one of the keys to developing a successful brand
History of Brands
It is incredible how many people still think that logos, colors, and taglines are all that make up a brand. A brand needs to encompass an entire organization and become part of the DNA, so how does one set about on that path of identifying what your brand is and making it part of the company’s DNA?
It is all about acknowledging that history. In its most basic term, a brand was a visual indicator of which sheep were whose. In that era, it was a passive object, but clearly, brands have developed since then. Once we move forward to the 1950s, we see media bias coming into play and brands becoming a representation of a product, person, or company.
During the second half of the 20th century, visual design plays a significant role, and brands begin to broadcast. However, if we fast-forward to our current era, the 2020s, brands are super personified. They can join a cultural discussion. Nike supporting an equal playing field and taking a stance on the civil rights movement is an example of this.
So, we’re moving to brands being far more community-focused, turning from broadcast to conversational expression, and being part of a cultural context. This makes the modern period an exciting time for brand development.
Brands have started to expand, and some are getting into different areas, but you have to start from a base of who you are. If you try to be something you’re not, as some companies do, you end up with “bumper stickers” on your website, making these proclamations that are not reflected in the company.
You have to start by figuring out if your brand authentically reflects your company’s culture. It is about unlocking your brand’s purpose and uncovering what it stands for, what conversations it should have or has a right to have, what personality it has, and what values and beliefs it has.
John is the Amazon bestselling author of Winning the Battle for Sales: Lessons on Closing Every Deal from the World’s Greatest Military Victories and Social Upheaval: How to Win at Social Selling. A globally acknowledged Sales & Marketing thought leader, speaker, and strategist. He is CSMO at Pipeliner CRM. In his spare time, John is an avid Martial Artist.