On an average day, consumers are exposed to six thousand advertisements and, each year, to more than twenty-five thousand new products.”
–Scott M. Davis Brand Asset Management
Methods of advertising have evolved over time. What once was a focus on the features of products is now an attempt to make a personal connection with the consumer. It seems impossible to avoid bombarding ads—taking up real estate nearly everywhere we go, online and off. With advertisements incessantly fighting for our attention, it is easy to get lost in the noise.
The goal of branding is to create something that evokes an emotional response in order to stand out from the noise. My mom always told me the way to a man’s heart is through his belly. Well, the way to a consumer’s heart is also through the belly, you have to create an emotional response. Target is a wonderful example of good branding. They do what they can to appeal to the senses, through use of color, photographic style, typography and messaging. The red Target uses in their branding has a science behind it, it evokes emotions of excitement, power, seduction, and can also cause a slight shortness of breath.
A good brand can engage the audience by telling its own story. These “brand stories” connect people within companies in a united purpose as well as connect them with consumers. Brand stories explain who brands are, what they do and why it matters. They take flight and evolve into their own identity, including their own unique use of color, stylized imagery, typography, composition and so on. Target has set standards on the quality of goods they sell and they hold to it. The repeat consumer knows what to expect when they go into the store and where to find it. Target’s logo isn’t anything out of the ordinary, however, their “branding” is what makes them stand out.
When I drive into the Target parking lot, my first thought is always, “I love Target,” followed by a big smile. I know that when I go into the store, I am going to find stylish accessories for a good price, fashionable clothing, great kitchenware and so on. I am what they would call a “brand evangelist” for Target. Target doesn’t pay me to say this stuff, they have just made a really great impression.
Evangelism means convincing people to believe in your product or ideas as much as you do, by using fervor, zeal, guts, and cunning to mobilize your customers and staff into becoming as passionate about a cause as you are.” Guy Kawasaki
How do you create a strong brand? Follow Target’s example. Know yourself. Know who are, who needs to know, how will they find out about you, and why should they care. The goal is to set expectations for yourself and know how to hold to those expectations for the consumer.