Do Cows Like To Be Branded?
When you stop and think about our brand-saturated world, it can make your head hurt. It is estimated that we see 5,000 brand messages a day. (And who has time to count that many?) It’s brand-saturated, and we love it.
Brand to me is that little piece of property you own in a person’s mind. It is mental shorthand to help you remember something you like — or many times, dislike — about a brand. We maintain that real estate.
Many people ask me, “What is the ‘one thing’ we can do to really brand our organization?” That’s like saying, “What’s the one food you can eat to get healthy?”
- Eat low cholesterol food
- Lose weight
- Control stress
- Take statins
- Exercise regularly
- Get out into nature
All of those things make me healthy.
Too many people believe in brand magic. One thing will magically brand you in the minds of your customers. Like my example of getting healthy, it is much more holistic. It’s ongoing, and it’s a commitment to being more universal.
The other issue with brand is that many believe that people can be branded like cows. If they can, let’s look at it from the cow’s perspective. Do cows like to be branded? Not the ones I’ve seen. And people react the same way when they are overbranded by an advertiser.
You really can’t burn your brand into someone’s mind. Branding must be more subtle and understatedly elegant. The person (cow) must thoroughly enjoy the experience.
No one wants to be hit over the head with a branding iron. A brand starts by thinking first of how to solve problems for people. That’s your benefit and your reason to exist.
If you see “here’s how to brand your organization in 4 easy steps,” run.