Let's start the new year with an excellent reminder from Katy Keim of a brand's true essence:
Reputation, I think, is one of the most forgotten or neglected attributes of a brand, in spite of the fact that it’s typically the single most important factor that allows a brand to grow value and inspire loyalty. It’s the unique combination of how we perceive a brand, how it speaks to us, how we engage and interact with it, as well as the value it brings to our lives. It’s a multi-directional dialogue between a brand and its customers – a brand’s key differentiator in the marketplace. But how do we measure it?
Think of it as the point of convergence between what a brand says about itself and what others say about it. It’s the delta between aspiration and reality or, colloquially speaking, “talking the talk” vs. “walking the walk.” It’s the total experience a brand creates across multiple touch points in relation to the impact it makes relative to its customers wants and needs.I've said many times that the work of branding is aligning an organization's identity (how it perceives itself) with it's image (how others perceive it). When those two things line up, excellent brands emerge.