A hinerent connection: Branding according to Sheniva Lindveld

Our former student Sheniva Lindveld delivered a very interesting article full of meaningful considerations on the very discussed topic of branding:

“I often say: “A brand is like a painting; you feel connected to it or you don’t.”

When you walk into a store you can choose between hundreds of the same product, but all with a different name. Still you choose the one you feel the most connected to, not just because they are in fact better products, but they are appealing brands. Branding has unconsciously become a part of our lives. These days you will not survive with only a “good” product because it is not only about the product, but about the story behind the product. People drink Coca Cola, because in their perception it “colours their life” ®. Levi’s 501 is still hot, because of the heritage  and the fact that “quality never goes out of style” ®. People drink Red Bull because it symbolically gives them “wings” ®.

The past 10 years branding has become a crucial must for any company. Not only in the creative industry! People nowadays even brand themselves which is called ‘Personal branding’. Branding is not just about a logo, a business card, a nice interior or a website. Branding goes beyond; it should create an experience for people when they use or buy the product, a feeling. It is about being honest, true and definitely not forced. Branding is about having an identity and purpose. Like Philip Kotler says: “in the past it was packaging, a logo and done. Today your brand provides a promise.”®. I couldn’t agree more. 

The question still remains; how do you brand your product to create the right feeling for your customers, so they feel connected to your brand? 

The “technical” answer to the above is clear to many; having a strong logo, message/slogan, mission & vision, USP, website and defined target group. All the above aspects can create a good brand identity and even make your brand known within a large group of people. This does not automatically mean that they feel connected to the brand.

The connection is created by awakening the right emotions of the target group. Your brand will help them feel part of something special, for example like a family, and function as a way of expressing them selves to define who they are as an individual. These days the connection starts with a great passion of the founder of the brand or company. If that person can find a structured way of translating his/her passion into their brand, that is were the emotional connection is born. And were there is emotional connection, there is a long-term relationship that every brand wants.

And just like looking at a painting, you either feel connected to it or not. If you do feel connected to the painting, it awakens certain emotions in you, which the painter wants you to feel to understand the message behind the painting. With a brand it is the same, you feel connected to it or you don’t and when you do, you can understand the story and the message.

Sheniva Lindveld  

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