A brand is far more than a good-looking logo or pretty packaging. Yes, good design is an absolute must in branding, but the visual elements alone are not a brand. So, what is a brand, then?
A brand is the sum total of everything you say and do, that - taken together over time - effects people's perception of your business, your products and/or your services.
So that means:
Employees are your brand
Workplace culture is your brand
Your customer service is your brand
The way you reply to emails is your brand
Your Situations Vacant advertisements are your brand
What customers expect of you is your brand, too
back to our cowboy for a moment...
If you wanted everyone to think you were a true-blue cowboy, you'd not only need to carefully design and create the cowboy... you'd then need to commit
to 'playing' cowboy long-term.
Unfaltering consistency is key.
In fact, to create true believers, you can't just act like you are a cowboy... you basically need to completely become the cowboy.
So, where are the holes in your business' total brand picture? Is your design offering up a cheque that parts of your consumer experience can't cash?
does your brand have value?
Brand value ensures that your target market will choose you over all others. When your brand has value to a person, they will loyally keep choosing you,
and they will advocate on your behalf that other consumers should also choose you.
If you've never heard of it, or if you wouldn't buy it, or if you would never recommend it to your friends and family, then there is no brand value - at least not for you.
Can you think of any brands that you choose even when there are lower-cost products available? That's brand value.