657,000,000. That’s the amount of results you will get on Google if you search for the word “branding.”
But are all these information equally useful? Not really.
The explosion of the branding as a term and even as an industry has brought about a lot of fake information about the topic.
Everyone is now a “branding expert,” telling you what to do or not do to build your brand.
Read also: Why do you need to build a brand for your business
Beyond all the noise however, there are some true and great ideas on branding coming from the greatest marketers and thought-leaders that have build extremely successful brands.
Below are some of the greatest branding quotes from the best of the best, including Seth Godin, Mark Cuban, and Steve Jobs.
“Don’t find customers for your products, find products for your customers.” – Seth Godin
Many companies fail at branding because they are product-centric rather than customer-centric.
In most companies, the managers spend a few hours in the board room, come up with a weird idea of a product, throw it on to the producers, and then put pressure on the marketing team to find customers. That’s product-centric.
However, successful brands listen first to their customers, empathize with their problems, go back to the drawing table and carve solutions to that problem. That’s customer-centric.
The best branding hack is to create a product that people actually want and not some crazy idea you came up with in your bathroom.
“Focus on building the best possible business. If you are great, people will notice and opportunities will appear.” – Mark Cuban
In the world of marketing and branding, quality is dangerously underrated.
The false belief is that it doesn’t matter whether your product is good; all you have to do is get good marketers to build your brand and market for you.
The sad reality is that things don’t work that way.
Of course, you may get away with a bad product a few times; but you will never be able to build a world-class brand without a world-class product.
Your major focus when building your brand should be to make the best products for your customers. If you’re able to do that, your brand will blossom with a little intentional marketing.
“You don’t have to be in business for long to know that this one is true. Go the extra mile in everything, and the value of your brand will make itself evident to your clients and partners.” – Steve Jobs
All you have to do to understand this quote is to look at Apple and the kind of brand they’ve been able to build.
Apple, especially under Steve Jobs, is well-known for their attention to details and doing everything possible to ensure their products turn out best.
They don’t just want to create a good-enough product, they want to create a master class.
The results? Millions of people committing their wealth and time to Apple products even though it’s costlier.
Commitment to a culture of excellence is the purest way to build your brand.
“People don’t want what you make. They want the way it will make them feel” – Seth Godin
Good brands communicate features & benefits. Great brands communicate how they are different The best brands communicate emotions.
No one wants to buy your product. Sorry, but that’s the truth.
What they want is the feeling they will get once they buy that product. Would they feel like they are different and cool? Would they feel like they are confident? How would your product make them feel.
This is a core part of branding: emotions before logic. Sell emotions before logic. Sell your story before your product.
“The goal is not to do business with everybody who needs what you have. The goal is to do business with people who believe what you believe.” – Simon Sinek
Branding, put simply, is a process of positioning your brand to attract people who believe what you believe.
It is a process of streamlining your communications and relationships with your market so that it will be clear to your “fans.”
The people who believe what you believe are those who share your values and beliefs. These values and beliefs are not directly communicated. They are perceived indirectly through your actions and products.
People who believe what you believe are those who will feel enthusiastic to do business with you.
“You can’t build a reputation on what you are going to do.” – Henry Ford
Your brand is your company’s reputation.
Most businesses build their brands on promises – what they are going to do. These businesses spend more time to on media and communications, talking about what they are going to do, without doing anything tangible.
When building a brand (or anything else for that matter), you should spend 90% of your time working ON your brand and 10% on talking about your goals.
“Customers will never love a company until the employees love it first.” – Simon Sinek
When we think of branding, we think of the external things that people do not see. But branding depends largely on the internal parts of a business.
The bulk of your branding job will be done by the employees, those in the frontline. Although the vision and direction will come from the top, the actual execution is from the bottom.
If your employees love working with you, you can be sure that they will help you do a great branding job.
However, if they do not feel like they belong to the organization, they may be working against your goals.
“Brands mature over time, like a marriage. The bond you feel with your spouse is different from when you first met each other. Excitement and discovery are replaced by comfort and depth.” – Gary Vaynerchuk
You must be able to spot when your brand is reaching maturity. This is important because the things you did to take your brand to the top are not the same things you’ll need to do to keep it there.
Some things may change when your brand grows; and although that may feel uncomfortable, you need to learn to live with it.
Again, what got you to the top may not be the same thing to keep you there
So, now what?
Now that you’ve gotten key insights into branding from the best of the best in the world, what should you do next?
It’s simple: start taking action.
Apply the knowledge that you’ve gained from these experts into building your own brand. It may be hard, but the effort will always be worth it.
Now, go build that brand!