Understanding what a True Brand is
At V2Works we are Committed to Building True Brands Instead of Brand Impersonators
What’s the difference?
The reality is that most products and services — no matter their level of consumer awareness — aren’t actually true brands anymore. Most used to be; but likely that was back in the last century. What were once brands, quietly morphed into what might more accurately be described as brand impersonators.
A brand impersonator is a more accurate designation for products and services that have high levels of awareness in the categories in which they compete, but whose values are so basic, so rooted in command of product or service that they are not consciously differentiated from their competition in the minds of the consumer.
Since a “brand” is a person’s perception of a product, service or business, there is trouble with associating consumer awareness of a “brand.” This is not only due to the complexities of describing their behavior, but because term “brand” is used incorrectly. This is where brand impersonators come into play, if you define a brand as follows:
A brand is a name, term, symbol, or combination thereof, that defines goods and services — so strongly full of values and emotional meaning — that are easily differentiated by the public from the competition.
Today, comparable products or services that have nothing other than their awareness to trade on, usually find they have to trade on price. And yes, in tougher economic times, people do look for more-economic alternatives. But the market reality is that consumers still won’t pay less for something that doesn’t deliver tangible, and minimally acceptable, promise. It isn’t just about price, it’s about value for dollar. Due to variable amounts of customer loyalty, brand impersonators end up spending more money to market themselves than a true brand. By investing in a solid foundation to build a true brand, your company’s value will be established from the beginning.
The bottom line is that brands – true brands – are substitutes for value. In a soft economy with more readily available on-line price and coupon aggregators, together with an absence of true brand values, people will always go looking for a deal. But what you are seeing isn’t disloyalty to a brand, it is disloyalty to brand impersonators that have been passing as differentiated brands.
￼This economy serves to remind us all of the unchanging reality of any marketplace, up or down, where price always stands alone when value has left the building. Only true brands can own loyalty. It’s personal and emotional. It’s people buying from people. Everything else is just short-term sales.