Personalising the intangible and tangible

Phil Dean, Managing Director of Certain argues that branding has evolved to such an extent in hospitality that organisations must now put personalisation at the forefront.

If the brand has a persona, does this reflect the emotions of the leaders in the business?

The consumer has never had more choice. They can choose to buy a product anywhere, at any time and the lowest price. And it’s in this world that branding has never been more important.

Recent statistics from the US show that Apple’s retail stores are the most successful on the high street, with seventeen times more sales per square feet than the average retailer. The data, which excludes online sales, reveals that Apple achieves more than double the amount of sales per square feet in the US than the runner-up, Tiffany & Co, who ranks second on the list.

It isn’t a coincidence that Apple also tops Forbes’ annual study of the most valuable brands in the world for the seventh straight year, worth $170 billion. Its brand value is up 10% over last year and represents 21% of the company’s recent market value of $806 billion.

The ultimate goal is to create a simple, potent brand idea that can be executed with confidence and creativity in everything you do, right across your business.

It can be hard to relate to a behemoth like Apple, but the fundamentals remain the same — a good brand informs everything you do. And it’s not just your logo; I think it is far more useful to use the word reputation instead of brand. It will help connect with your customers and how they relate to your products and service.

It all starts with a simple question: what do people think of your brand? The answer to this will give you a point A on the journey and the point B will come from understanding what and how you want to sell.

The ultimate goal is to create a simple, potent brand idea that can be executed with confidence and creativity in everything you do, right across your business. Great brands understand their customer better than anyone else and solve a problem that they have and this is best achieved when a simple, compelling idea sits at the heart of the business — an idea that can be brought to life at every opportunity.

At its core, a brand is a promise to its customers. Not just tangible products and services, but emotions and feelings. And it’s customers that inform the strategy because brands are built by consumers, not companies and the way a brand is perceived defines it.

We encourage businesses to develop a brand persona. Think of your brand as a person and how does it interact its customers? The brand persona from appearance to personality is what customers will judge you on.

And remember, a brand is made up of intangible and tangible. It goes beyond just the logo, messaging, social media and advertising. The consistent communication of the brand will shape perceptions but if just one element is out the whole brand will suffer.