When a lot of people think about brand, the only thing they think about is their logo. Even if they get past that they often extend this only to corporate colours and other style based items, but your brand is so much more.
I like to think that your brand is the personality of your business, which in turn leads to the way people perceive your business.
If you were to use the metaphor of an individual, your brand is
- how you look – your physical attributes like gender, height, weight, perceived attractiveness etc)
- how you dress – your clothes, shoes, accessories
- what you say – the words you use – content and grammar
- the way you say it – tone, body language etc
- how you act – what you do
If the individual brand is consistent and it fits with what someone likes then they will like you as a person. You build rapport and trust. If you an not consistent, ie you look and act differently each day then people will never know whether they like you or not, and are unlikely to trust you.
In a business brand is all these things and encompass
- how you look – logo, corporate image, signage, promotional material, advertising etc
- how you and your staff act, dress, speak
- how the phones are answered
- what you websites says
- how people experience your products and services
- every touchpoint with you business
If your brand is consistent and fits with what you market likes, then people will feel trust and will like your business. If you brand is inconsistent then people won't trust you and will be unlikely to do business with you.
For more on brand, visit Seth Godins Blog.