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Model Notion Administration | Branding Technique Insider

Brand Perception Management

In all the years of my practice, by far the best definition of branding that I have used is "managing perceptions in people's minds". It shows us where the effect of branding takes place – in people's minds – and what that effect looks like – managing perceptions.

To understand what branding does, consider the opposite: what happens if you don't use branding at all? The amazing thing is that branding takes place anyway. Instead of the brand owner or manager who intentionally guides people, people use their imagination to fill the empty space, this information vacuum, with their own ideas and fantasies.

This is always the case when no information is available. The empty space is filled with speculation and the ideas based on it. People start speculating and sharing their speculations with others. Sometimes external commentators try to help by making statements and comments without access to precise facts or real insight into the thinking of decision-makers.

I have never met or heard from a brand manufacturer who found the right branding by putting their products on the market without any planned branding effort. However, I came across their opposites that complain that their brand is not perceived as it should be, or that their brand is not in the foreground in people's minds as it should be.

Managing is a key word to explain what branding is about. Most companies have many different management processes: human resource management, financial management, production management, procurement management, etc. Since branding is one of the most important processes for adding value, both in terms of equity and the business result (profit), it should definitely be an important core Management process. Unfortunately, this is not the case in many companies.

Sometimes this is the result of a traditional view. Branding is considered part of the marketing process and is of course an essential part of marketing. But branding is much more than just marketing. It is traditionally the basis of corporate culture. Branding typically identifies the company's vision, mission, and values. It is simply a subset of the branding management strategy in any type of company, not just the commercial area. Preferred alternative expressions for branding are "corporate DNA", "corporate soul" or "brand essence".

Example: "Pirate Branding" – How to control the perception of fear in people's minds

The marauding pirates of the Caribbean in the legendary pirate period from 1650 to 1720 are a vivid and dramatic example of an effective perception management in the minds of people. It starts with the "pirate logo": the classic flag most commonly attributed to Henry Avery, one of the most notorious pirate captains. The white skull in profile, wearing a headscarf, on a red or black background and with the crossed bones underneath, shows very clearly the fate of the crews who refused to surrender to the pirates.

An important part of managing a brand's perception is to make it clear what drives the brand owner – the why or the purpose and mission of the brand. A common myth is that the pirates were only interested in prey and not in killing. For this reason, many goods ships, including gold and other valuables, were relatively light and with very little fighting effort. The seafarers, who were forced to fight by their ambitious naval officers, knew very well that the pirates were outlaws with very little to lose and were therefore extremely dangerous and brutal fighters. Many crews surrendered to pirates just to be recruited into pirate ranks, which not only kept them alive but also offered financial rewards. A pirate received one to two shares of the loot instead of the 19 to 24 shillings per month for a sailor, which was offered, for example, by the merchant navy.

ContriBranding Strategy Insider brought to the attention of: Thomas Gad, excerpt from his book Customer Experience Branding, with permission from Kogan Page Publishing.

The Blake project can help: Define the strategy behind your brand perception in The Brand Positioning Workshop

Branding Strategy Insider is a service from The Blake Project: A strategic brand consultancy that specializes in brand research, brand strategy, brand growth and brand building

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