A brand is a living entity that elicits emotions from people. Emotions aren’t always ‘love’ or ‘joy’, it can be ‘safety’, ‘comfort’, ‘pride’, ‘excitement’.

Standardisation of products and services have meant that the true differentiator for a company is how it’s perceived by consumers. In other words, it’s brand image. It’s aura. This is why Brand Value can often comprise over half of a company’s market value. Astonishing, considering it’s an abstract concept.

Many companies make the mistake of focusing on what their brand personality is, rather than looking at the psychographic composition of their target audience.

The brand holds up a mirror to your audience.

Its identity, and thus, its value, is comprised of their perceptions and their values. Much like the conjecture posed by the ‘tree in the woods’ by Berkeley or ‘the Moon’ by Bohr – if no one sees or feels your brand, how do we know it exists?

Brand communications cannot be duplicated. The marketing landscape is consolidated and strong, and the media landscape is fragmented and impossible to control. Jumping onto the back of a successful brand and mimicking their behaviour will not guarantee success. This is true for small and big brands. In a survey of senior marketers, 75% said they weren’t convinced of the effectiveness of digital advertising, yet 66% said they plan to spend more in digital next year (WFA). We fall into a trap of copying the wider market, when every person, brand and purpose is different.

Find your own brand voice to talk to your target audience.

The reason why so many brands fail in communications is because they saw another brand do something with positive results and said, ‘get me that!’. Instead they should have asked themselves ‘how’, and perhaps more importantly, ‘why, should we do that’. This is why having a solid brand identity and mission is so crucial. It will guide your decisions for years to come.

Technology changes, society changes, but your brand vision remains constant. Why? The human psyche hasn’t shifted – our concept of self, our ability to feel emotions, our need to be social and the need to be validated. To know your brand is to know your audience.