It was a nice Saturday afternoon when my girlfriend and I were walking back from shopping, discovering the car shown below, which gave us the opportunity to address an important branding issue - the law of Symmetry of Logic.
Everything you think, say and do strengthens or weakens the customers' perception of a company. This continuity of values is among other things responsible for the perception of a brand and should therefore be in a harmonious balance. Just as a person himself represents certain values that are reflected in his actions and personality, a brand also has certain values for which it should stand.
The example in the picture shows a financing company for real estate. Accordingly, it should reflect values such as security, trust and stability. After all, customers want to feel that they are in good hands when it comes to finance and real estate. These are all values that this car, as the bearer of the message, cannot communicate at all. How is this company supposed to support a customer in financing a property if it seems to be struggling financially itself? It doesn't have to be the latest super sports car, but something that brings the values of a real estate service provider to the customer and radiates a certain security.
A good example of this is the startup Sono Motors, whose team is working on the mobility of the future. They are developing a car that can be charged using solar cells. For their future, they see everything green which they live both in their own culture and externally. As company smartphones, they use the Fairphone. Anyone who eats vegetarian food can do so at the expense of the start-up. And basically they are only developing their product in order to completely abolish the car we know as such. So they cannibalize themselves right from the start in order to pursue their mission of a greener world. They created the startup for a higher purpose. Absolutely logical, consistent and authentic action. This is the Symmetry of Logic.
We trust people who believe what we believe. It is the search for belonging that is deeply rooted in our biology. Brands is no different. Here, too, we look for belonging, for companies to which we feel connected and with which we can identify. We want to be a part of it!
"Customers have to realize that you stand for something." - Howard Schultz, Starbucks
It must therefore become clear to you how you would like to see your company. How should it act? Which values should be communicated to the outside world? Which culture should be built up internally? What should customers associate with it? How should customers feel when they come into contact with the brand? What status do you want them to have of themselves? And the most important thing: What is the reason for the brand? Yes, the question for the WHY may sound oldschool, but if a company cannot communicate why it exists at all, then it has no vision and no mission to carry it to the outside world. But this is the basic building block for every message! Customers need to understand that the brand stands for something. For something higher and bigger than it is.
The vision of a brand implies a promise to the customer an obligation of the company. After all, the job is to fulfill those promises and commitments and make the customer feel that they are taking care of them and keeping them. Here, too, there is a symmetry of the entire entrepreneurial and brand-specific logic.
A brand must therefore convey much more than simply features. And yet 90% of the communication between company and customer consists of trying to set him up, that you are simply better than the competition, because you offer this and that great feature and the customer thereby has such an enormous advantage. But why should it interest the customer in the first place? How can he see at first glance that the brand is just right for him?
The overall aim is to give a brand a human personality and to nurture it. Brands that develop a strong personality have a significant advantage; they stand out from the crowd and have a message that they carry to the outside world. A personality is important because, like a human character, it is distinctive and consistent. While a competitor can copy features, a personality is not easy to duplicate. Of course, the competitor can imitate, but then it's just an imitator. And as with us humans, you notice this and it stands out negatively.
Think of someone you like to spend time with! How does this person behave? What values does she have within her, what values does she show to the outside world? What would she therefore never do? Who would she support?
For example, a mother can be down-to-earth, honest, sincere, reliable and always there for you. The weekend buddy, on the other hand, is funny, full of energy and social. So how would the two people behave authentically? And what if these were the attributes of a company?
But a brand can also be inconstant at times. Just like a human person who is serious at times, then funny again, later changes into sad. Wearing a blue leisure shirt for a time, partying in a chic shirt in the evening. A brand can always behave differently as long as its core values remain constant. This brand behavior supports the liveliness and personality of the company and thus becomes more three-dimensional and thus more tangible for the customer.
The brand thus becomes a good buddy for the customer, to whom all secrets, joy and grief in life can be shared. And once you have built up such strong loyalty, it remains persistent. The customer remains loyal to the brand, almost no matter how it changes - like with a good friend.
Create stories. Develop strong characters. Stands for something!
Think beyond creative. Stay creative.