You can manufacture a product, but not a brand. A brand is something you create.
I often get enquiries from business owners who have a history of manufacturing stuff wanting their own brand. They are tired of seeing others slapping a logo onto their product and making the real money. It is the obvious thing to do, since it is the brand that can allow for the charging of a premium.
But the problem is that manufacturing people tend to think that they can “produce” a brand in the same way as they produce a product. Just follow a recipe. Get a logo, add a website, promote it via social media and voila, you have a brand.
Not so fast!
You see, the process of manufacturing something is largely a mechanical, physical affair. You throw some ingredients together and flick a switch for the machines to turn. On the other hand, building a brand is largely an invisible and emotional process. It is about taking a “feeling” and adding it to the product. Think about how the Nike logo turns an average shoe into a statement of personal ambition!
Making a brand is not the same thing as making a product. You don’t manufacture a brand. You create it. There is a level of art involved. Manufacturing people find this very difficult to understand.
It is ironic that the very people who can “produce” the brand, often can’t “create” it. They are unable to make the leap from left brain manufacturing to right brain brand building. From the mind, to the heart.
So how do you create a brand?
The secret is to get out of the factory and into the market – the people you want to create the brand for. Then ask: what problem will I be solving for these people through this brand? How big a problem is it? What are the negative emotions they feel because of this problem and what positive emotions will the brand give them? From frustration to success; feeling left out to being part of the “in-crowd”; struggling and failing to achievement and hope.
Wanting a brand is not enough. You need to feel it first! More art, than science.