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No, apes (as a species) did not ask for a bigger logo. Although, they did exhibit traits that substantiate the concept of branding.
Years of corporate culture and its most significant element- the jargon has resulted in this perception about branding which is nowhere near what it truly is.
But, for a small chunk, it is actually that intangible feeling that drives us beings.
You don’t have to think twice before recognizing which one of the above is eligible to build brands.
The idea of ‘a brand’ has been around for about 5000 years. Primates arose 55 million years ago. It is not important to know when and why we started branding, as much as knowing how we did. The aim of this piece is to realize the essence of branding as a concept, as a philosophy.
Let’s get back to primates again. We evolved from mammals. What makes us the alleged ‘superior’ species or a species that is different from any other is our brains. We are emotional, intuitive beings who aspire to be rational in their decision making.
Of course, we are more complex than cucumbers. Cucumbers do not try to hone emotions and feelings. We do. And that is roughly how we brand. Branding is an effort to shape this feeling by associations, symbols, imagery, and other elements that help people identify, resonate, and make decisions.
Trust determines if I will make the purchase or not.
Marty Neumeier aptly said, “Trust creation is the ultimate goal of brand design.”
How we trust also has a lot to do with how we evolved. Our brain makes decisions based on two simple questions:
1. Have I seen this before?
2. Was it a pleasant experience?
If we have not seen something before, we are usually curious about it. If we have, then we try and remember if it was a pleasant experience or not. If it is something scary, we immediately want to get away. Making such decisions was fundamental to our existence. That is how we survived and evolved to be what we are today.
A good brand will help a potential customer say yes to both of these primal questions as soon as they come in contact with it.
Anthropology has enough studies that prove how we started creating tribes as soon as we started building civilizations. This human trait stayed throughout and today, even after the level of globalization we live in, we can not be a वसुधैव कुटुम्बकम, an ancient Hindu concept mentioned in the scriptures, the world is one family. E love boundaries, without barriers, there is no safety. Globalism removes boundaries and we instantly erect more.
As Marty Neumeier put it in The Brand Gap, “They create intimate worlds that can understand, and where they can be somebody and feel as if they belong. They create tribes.”
With brands, people do something similar. When they make a purchase from a brand, they are a part of that tribe that could transcend physical and geographical boundaries. They automatically become a part of something bigger than themselves. If you are able to evoke that feeling in a customer through your brand, you have yourself something that brands like Nike and Coca Cola have been able to build for themselves.
Tribes also help in differentiation. A huge part of the branding process is just making sure it is unique and different from its competing brands. Consumers dig that too, the human cognitive system works in a way that it filters irrelevant information surrounding us and categorizes things to have a better understanding of things and not drown in the sea of information.
Business owners and corporations have realized that people are going to collectively form an opinion, a perception about their business no matter what. To control that perception up to a certain amount is possible only through branding.
After the pandemic hit us and the world came at a halt for a while, people have realized they can live without a lot of things. Not just the economy, but capitalism itself is going to take a blow. People never wanted new things. They just want to be familiar, but better. That can not be more relevant today.
Today, all you can do is build a truthful brand, and stay true to your brand. Your customer will come to you.
Slangbusters is a branding studio based in Ahmedabad that believes in jargon-free communication to ensure you are a part of your own branding process. Contact us to discuss ideas, or just a good chat. We’re listening.
— by Manas, Content Strategist, Slangbusters Studio