Iván Díaz González – Strategy Director at Brand Union
New machines for faster production, better professionals for greater efficiency, new spaces to grow our new production centre, and even new trucks to reach further.
In our businesses, it is sometimes very obvious , that we need to invest in what we do to continue to grow, and in order to remain being competitive.
Sometimes we need to invest to improve our reality as a company. So, why do you hesitate when investing in branding?
If your product or service is the way you relate to others, your brand is the way you matter more to them then others. Because, at the end of the day, we are what matters to those around us.
We are the best quality, the most trustworthy, the best answer, the most empathetic, the most creative, have the best attitude, are the best gateway to the future…
Our brand defines us and helps us to improve the impact we have on others. It helps us to generate proprietary value. It helps us to bring about a decision.
Brands have the capacity to have a positive impact on our businesses. To generate value over and above what we sell, and to build up significant meaning in somebody’s life.
Our brand allows us to give a different dimension to what we do. We may do the same as everyone else, but we can give it a different meaning. We can connect with them differently, build up unique relationships, and find opportunities where our products have not yet reached.
While “what” is what you do, “how” you do it is what makes the difference. And that “how” is your brand.
Understanding your brand as something tangible, just like an item you can handle, shape, hold and touch in the form of its effect on your results, is to understand that the machine that bottles your soft drink is as important as the engineering behind the design of your products or the television advertisement that shows you to the world.
Brand is a form of competition. It is a way of being. It is a way of mattering.
In the end, your brand is income, not an expense. Because it allows to sell more, or better, than others. It allows you to have more or better demand, more or better talent, to generate more or better loyalty, and to connect more, or better, with your customers.
We don’t know of any Managing Director who would consider not investing in their product because that it is what they sell. Yet interestingly we can see how many toy with not investing their brand, which is ‘who’ sells.
Understanding my brand as a tool that lets me be more competitive is to understand that just as our machinery requires investment, so does our brand.
Because investing in branding is to invest in being what you want to be.
When you decide to buy a better machine to make better products, you are investing in your brand. When you decide to pay for employee training courses, you are investing in your brand. When you decide to improve customer service, you are investing in your brand.
Every Euro spent on a company is an investment in its brand.
So, does an investment add something, or take something away? That is for management to decide. When you spend a Euro, do you know how to spend it and where? Do you know if you need faster, or more precise machinery? Do you know if you need a call centre in Latin America or in Toledo? Do you know if you need a better product or better customer service?
Brand is not an investment, it is a direction that guides your investment.
If today you are spending a Euro on your company and you have not paid attention to your brand, you may be spending in the wrong place, or at least not in the optimal way.
The brand is the sum of everything we do, and that includes everything we spend. Don’t consider investing in your brand, because it is not an expense. It is simply a recommendation that indicates where you need to put your money and how you should do so.
After all, in a complex world of equals, we want to stand out from the crowd and this includes being different in “what” we do, or in “how” we tell others about it, through our brand.
Brand is not a logo, a colour, or an advertising method. Brand is the sum of everything we do, of all our behaviours, our employees culture, how we dress and even how we talk, the experience someone has with us. It is all brand.
If you have a company, you have a brand. The difference is how it is managed. So, it is important to pay attention to your brand in order to make it as efficient as possible. Because brand can have a positive impact on your business.