In today’s business landscape, company logos have evolved beyond mere symbols—they are now the face of a brand, encapsulating memories and emotions associated with the products or services offered. Logos are strategic tools designed to cultivate loyalty and stimulate consumer desire. They play a crucial role in the intricate tapestry of a company’s brand.
Branding has come a long way from the days when logos ruled and marketing campaigns were the centerpiece. Contemporary branding is a multifaceted, intricate endeavor that extends far beyond a simple logo.
The Traditional Landscape of Branding
Conventional branding encompasses a core message fortified by a logo, woven into compelling videos, and disseminated through diverse channels to create a positive perception and drive consumer engagement. The objective is to imbue products with value, differentiate them from competitors, foster loyalty, and expand market share.
This external brand representation, known as the intentional external brand, is meticulously crafted for external audiences. It’s a polished narrative designed to win minds, hearts, and wallets—a compelling cinematic experience of how a company and its offerings should be perceived.
This aspect of branding garners substantial attention as companies strive to shape consumer perceptions on their terms. The script is clear: We dictate who we are, how you should feel about us, and the actions you should take (buy our products!).
However, in the era of media saturation, consumers are adept at blocking out these intentional brand messages, sensing the barrage from various sources, and scrutinizing its authenticity.
Unveiling the Unintentional Brand
Amid this landscape emerges the unintentional external brand—a multifaceted, fluid perception that individuals outside your organization hold about your company. This dimension of your brand encompasses reactivity, rationality, emotion, interaction, and fluidity. It’s about the products they purchase, the stories they hear, their interactions with your company’s people and technology, and, most importantly, how these interactions evoke emotional responses.
Advancements in technology and the ubiquity of social media have magnified the dynamism of this perception. This external brand perception is no longer confined to a static logo or textual representation; it encompasses how you are known, thought of, and felt about.
The composite of these perceptions forms your overall brand—a blend of the intentional external brand, meticulously created for external audiences, and the unintentional brand, shaped by everyday interactions with your company.
Unpacking the Reality: The Frontier Airlines Case
Consider Frontier Airlines. The intentional external brand lauds its lowest fares, while the unintentional external brand casts a shadow with customer complaints soaring. Here, the unintentional brand overshadows the intentional one, revealing the repercussions of a dissonant brand identity.
Internal Brand: A Crucial Dimension
Enter the internal brand, which resonates with the experiences of internal stakeholders—employees, shareholders, and others. The intentional internal brand encompasses motivational literature, speeches, training, and positive communication, aiming to cultivate engagement and commitment. Yet, its effectiveness hinges on its compatibility with the unintentional internal brand.
The unintentional internal brand encapsulates how your people genuinely experience your company. It’s distinct from company culture but significantly influences employees’ perceptions and emotions about your organization. Over time, these perceptions crystallize into your unintentional internal brand.
The Intricacy of Modern Branding
In a world of complex interactions, branding transcends a mere logo. Brands are holistic, spanning internal and external realms, shaped by intention and unintentional perceptions. McDonald’s “I’m lovin’ it” external brand battles skepticism regarding food healthiness, while internal clashes with franchise owners and workers erode its brand image.
Achieving Holistic Brand Success
For a resilient brand, every facet matters. A compelling logo and enticing advertisements are components, but they alone won’t elevate your brand. To succeed in the digital era, strive for cohesive, intentional, and unintentional brands both within and beyond your organization.
Consider brands like Apple and Southwest Airlines. Internally well-functioning, their external branding is stellar, reinforcing positive perceptions worldwide.
In your pursuit of a strong, enduring brand, focus on the entirety. Our experts at My Amazing Brand Solutions are here to guide you through the intricacies of branding, from intentional to unintentional dimensions, propelling your brand to new heights.