Businesses must proactively manage their brands in todays social media world
I first realized the power of branding when a professor asked a class I was attending to identify companies based solely on very specific elements of their brand identities. It struck me as something difficult to do. But, he showed a slide with a yellow color on it, and we all shouted out Kodak. We heard a few notes and declared it to be Intel. Before that, I had never focused on the fact that a color or a sound could be branded. But here was a demonstration that they not only could they be branded, but that college students could easily identify every brand shown and we had similar perspectives of what they stood for. It was an eye-opening introduction to the multifaceted nature and power of branding.
Everything Old is New Again
Branding is not new. Ancient civilizations realized the importance of symbols and marched into battle carrying emblems and utilizing distinct battle cries. The imperial eagle representing Rome was physically present during conquests. But branding has both remained the same and changed in the past few millennia While we still use symbols/logos that have distinct look and feels and brands still stand for specific attributes and values, the digital age has changed the rules of the game.
In the new collaborative virtual world, brand identities are not simply asserted by organizations and individuals; they are co-created by and can be quickly destroyed by the masses. In the digital world, brands have expanded into digital identities and most of us have a limited understanding of how we are perceived and what is known and communicated about our organizations, its products and people.