Branding Is Like Selling Tomatoes
Many a time we do not see the full potential of branding. Branding is more than making a business’s current marketing better, it is more than creating a new logo or a tag line. It is about taking business to next level of connection with the world.
I had recently invited the management team of a global non-profit to my home office for a brainstorming session. After the first two hours, I realized that we were struggling to open our minds to see the bigger picture of their potential. They were too caught up in tactical questions like, “Do we have to change the colors in our logo or need a new logo”, “What should be our new tagline” or “Can we now review our donor pitch deck?”
I felt we needed a break. As everyone was taking a break, I went to our backyard garden and returned with some tomatoes. When the team regrouped, I put a plate of tomatoes in front of them. They were not sure what was happening. I asked them how much you will pay for these. They said $1.49 a pound. Next, I put a plate of the same tomatoes but this time with tomatoes still on the vine and had leaves on them. This time, their eyes lit up. They said immediately, “This is what I get at my favorite grocery store and pay $2.99 a pound or more for it.”
I smirked and said, these are tomatoes from the same plant in my backyard. “See this is branding. No new logo, no new words. Just presenting the tomatoes in the right context doubled the value in your mind. Not only am I selling the tomatoes at a higher price, but also the vines and leaves at $2.99 a pound. And you all are feeling good about it. Branding is how to connect with the world deeper and create a higher value for what we are offering.”
Brands around the world find creative ways of connecting at a deeper level. Here are some examples:
- Car manufacturer supporting a national non-profit cause. Every time you are in the car, you feel good to contribute to a good cause.
- At Warby Parker, it is an individual shopping experience online and them sending 6 pairs of eyeglasses for you to try at home. It makes you feel important.
- The packaging of a new iPhone. Every time I upgrade, I get excited about opening the box and that gets me more excited about my new iPhone.
So next time you think of branding, start by seeing beyond to see the bigger picture. Instead of the tomatoes, see the leaves and the vine. Once you see the bigger picture, it will connect on its own with your target customers. Just like I did not have to sell the tomatoes on the vine with leaves, and my clients saw the higher value on their own; your clients too will see the brand uniques and be ready to pay more.
Once you see your bigger picture; the logo, the tagline and other tactical questions will get sorted automatically. Just remember brands that resonate, are felt not just seen or heard.