We all accept that consumer products – the stuff you buy in the shops – should be branded. Without an attractive brand these products won’t sell. Brands matter to us as people because they appeal to our emotions and helps us express our individuality. We are what we wear, and drive and use.

So brands help people satisfy their emotional need to express their identity.

But why should a business be bothered with developing its brand, especially when selling to other businesses? Surely a brand isn’t necessary in these unemotional markets?

In my experience working with small and medium sized companies there is indeed a collective emotional need for a business. This need is to be viewed as credible.

Where people want to be viewed as individuals in the crowd; companies want to be viewed as credible in the market. Both needs are emotional, and in both cases brands provide a solution.

The brand is really a tool to summarise everything that your company stands for. It becomes a symbol for your credibility as represented visually by the logo.

Your company is credible because:…of its collective experience, professional accreditations, expert skills, work ethic, quality machinery, internal processes…

All of these things should give your customer a sense of comfort, and the brand logo becomes the single point of reference.

You can either spend half a page or 10 minutes every time you speak to someone in your industry to explain why you are the real deal, or you can invest in a brand that says it all, upfront and in advance. “Those guys [enter brand name], I know of them, they are credible because…”

Essentially the brand becomes a highly efficient tool to meet your company’s own emotional need to be seen as credible.

The key to doing this, is making sure your business brand isn’t haphazardly developed, but with purpose and rolled out consistently across all marketing material. Your name and logo must deliberately stand for the things that make your company credible and then be used in a disciplined manner.

There is no doubt that people are emotional, but I believe companies are too.

The question then is filled with emotion: how do you feel about your business brand? And how does your customer feel about it?

Image credit: Flickr