Branding and Social Media
To understand brand, it must be understood in human terms. To create a healthy personality, a person must decide who they are. This goes to the development of values and being. People must decide are they good, are they bad, are they helpful. A person has to decide and define, just who they are. It is critical to the development of a healthy personality. Brands are the same way. To be effective, a brand must understand what it is, and why does it exist.
Social Media and Sports
An example of this is an iconic sneaker brand. This brand was created by a college track coach because he wanted a pair of running shoes developed specially for the comfort of runners. The brand identity of the sneaker has always been to help people. As time went on this image evolved into one of “cool.” Cool people buy and wear the sneakers. The sneaker’s marketing became too good—young people started killing each other for the sneakers. This was not the brand’s identity. What happened on the street upset the leaders of the sneaker company. The company’s identity is that it exists to help people. They adjusted its marketing so that its image was consistent with its identity. They changed their identity so that its identity was “cool with respect.” Young people began killing each other for shoes. This created a crisis for the brand. The sneakers adjusted its image and this adjustment saved the company when they faced a crisis in the marketplace.
The best way to understand identity is to think of brand identity as a 6 sided prism. This prism consists of PHYSIQUE, PERSONALITY, CULTURE, RELATIONSHIP, REFLECTION, and SELF-IMAGE.
The brand’s PHYSIQUE consists of its functions and its physical appearance. What is this product concretely? What does it do? Why does it exist? Simply put, why is this product here? Also, what does the product look like? One of the most iconic products in the modern market place created its immense brand because it understood its physique. This brand is a soda. Its bottle is its physique and it is known all over the world. In World War II, both German and American troops relished this drink. In prisoner of war camps, the appearance of this bottle developed positive images in a prisoner’s mind. Morale between prisoners and captors was created through the appearance of this bottle
Brands have a PERSONALITY. This means a specific kind of person uses this product. Nike has created its brand around personality. The image of Nike is that of cool. Its shoes are cool, and people who wear them are cool.
Brands have a CULTURE. Brands go beyond the borders of their national origin. The iconic soda conveys a culture of trust which is why this soda was always offered to captured officers in World War II. The appearance of the bottle was a tool that integrators used to break down walls and get substantive information from prisoners of war. This is why this soda offered a franchise to Max Schmelling, the German boxing champion. This was done to create trust between the American and German people. This trust was needed to create a brand in Germany after World War II.
Brands develop RELATIONSHIPS. Brands create friendships with customers. In a Social media age, this is the only way that a significant brand can be created. For a brand to be world class, a brand and its customers must be “friends”. In 1984, the iconic soda’s formula was changed. This was met with a howl of protest. It is one of the biggest mistakes in modern marketing. Why was there such great protest? The brand and its customers had created a friendship. You don’t replace your friends.
A brand is a customer REFLECTION. If you see someone wearing a pair of Nike’s, using an iPhone, while listening to an iPod, you immediately see that person as “cool.”
A brand speaks to our SELF-IMAGE. In NFL football games, a player is drafted by the NFL, and is signed, one of his first purchases is a particular car. Why? The player wants to convey to everyone, including himself is that he is successful.
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