By Wayne Marks, President, Hansa|GCR
There are a gaggle of ways to look at brand and define what a brand is. We at Hansa like to think of a brand as a gestalt. No matter what elements we put forward as the ingredients of a brand, the whole will be more than the sum of the parts. This fact explains why there are so many different ways of looking at brands – we are implicitly trying to understand this gestalt.
Beyond the gestalt, we also advocate that a brand is much more than a logo, tagline, or the position a company communicates to the market. While these are important, customers and prospects judge the company and its products by far more than that. They don’t experience just the brand communicated in messaging; they experience all ways in which they touch the product and company. They form their thoughts and feelings about the company based on this total experience. The experience is the brand. This total experience shapes the customer mind space occupied by the brand.The mind space occupied by the brand should not be accidental. It needs to be purposeful. This requires the company to be clear about what it wants the brand to stand for. What the brand stands for needs to set the company apart and provide the customer with a reason to buy its products rather than a competitor’s.