When we think of branding what usually comes to mind are things like logos and colors, tag lines and ad copy. That’s unfortunate. Packaging, rather than being first, is the final element of branding.
What comes first? The actual content of your brand.
I refer to these two things as internal branding and external branding, and develop each with my clients IN THAT ORDER. You must as well for your brand to have lasting impact on the marketplace.
Here’s why: Imagine buying a can of imported Mandarin oranges from the local grocery store. You’re going to use them to top off a salad at dinner tonight. When you get home, you open the can and what do you find inside? Not Mandarin oranges, but corn. Ugly, shriveled, pale yellow corn.
What just happened?
The promise of the label on the outside did not match the reality of the contents on the inside, and you’re left frustrated and upset.
Our customers experience this when the expectations we set with our external branding–logos and colors, tag lines and ad copy–do not match the actual experience they have with our products and services. And they, too, are left frustrated and upset.
Take a look at this visually:
Snazzy labeling may attract new customers. But they’ll only buy once and tell all their friends to stay away. No labeling, of course, attracts few, if any, customers. So the very best brands are built from the inside out, where the external brand communicates in a powerful and compelling way the actual content of the internal brand.
What about your brand?
Start with the DNA of your company: its central purpose and core values. Get very, very clear about why you are in business and how you’ll conduct yourself in the marketplace. Then duplicate that DNA in every touch point with your customers. Now work on packaging.
Anything less is lying.
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