A brand is much more than a name or logo- it is the heart of a product.
Brands are often thought of as the logos and design elements that identify a company's products. However, branding is much more than just a pretty logo. A brand is the sum of all the experiences and impressions that a customer has with a company, and it's one of the most important assets that a business can have. There are three levels of branding: the core brand, the extended brand, and the aspirational brand.
The core brand is the foundation of the other two levels and includes the features that make up the basic identity of the product, such as its function, quality, and packaging. The term 'core brand' refers to the basic identity of a product, as expressed through its features, function, quality, and packaging. This is the foundation upon which the other two levels of branding - extended and augmentative - are built. The core brand is what the customer first thinks of when they see the product, and it should be unique and differentiated from competitors. It should reflect the values of the company. It should be consistently communicated across all touchpoints, from advertising to packaging to customer service. Furthermore, it is important to note that the core brand is not static - it can evolve over time to keep up with changing customer needs and preferences. However, any changes should be carefully managed so as not to lose the connection with the product's original identity. When done right, the core brand will create a strong emotional connection with customers that will translate into loyalty and sales. So take care of your core brand, and it will take care of you.
In today's competitive market, it's not enough for a company to simply offer a quality product or service. They also need to have a strong brand that resonates with customers on an emotional level. This is where the extended brand comes in. The extended brand refers to the emotional associations that customers have with a company, beyond the functional benefits of the product or service. It's the feeling that customers get when they think about the company, and it can be positive or negative. For example, customers might associate a company with trustworthiness, affordability, or luxury such as Hermes, Dyson, Starbucks, etc. Creating a strong extended brand is essential for any company that wants to stand out from the competition and build a loyal customer base. This allows the customer to connect with the brand on a deeper level, creating a more loyal and lasting relationship. While the core brand is essential for establishing the basic identity of the product or service, the extended brand is what sets it apart from the competition and creates an emotional connection with the customer.
At the highest level is the aspirational brand, which inspires customers to achieve their goals.
Aspirational brands are the most successful because they tap into people's deepest desires. People want to be associated with brands that make them feel good about themselves and that represent their aspirations. Aspirational brands have a higher purpose than simply selling products - they seek to change people's lives for the better. This makes them much more appealing to customers than transactional or relationship. Think of “cult” brands—the brands that have the most devout fans. The types of brands that people really commit to. Think about skate kids queuing for hours in the rain in NYC, or the “I only wear Nike trainers” person in your life. The fact that we can pretty accurately guess that you know someone who’s a big-time Nike fan says it all. Right? For example: Stone Island, Diptyque, Goop, etc.
When it comes to branding, there are three different levels that companies can aim for: transactional, relationship, and aspirational. Transactional brands are the most basic level, focused on offering good value and low prices. Relationship brands are the next level up, seeking to build a strong connection with customers. And aspirational brands are at the highest level, inspiring customers to achieve their goals. Each of these types of brands has its own advantages and disadvantages. Transactional brands might have a wide appeal but may be seen as impersonal. Relationship brands might be more intimate but may not have the same reach as transactional brands. Aspirational brands might inspire people to achieve their dreams but may be out of reach for many customers. What is your aim?