Branding - what, why and how? Part 1 | Startup Central
What world are you stepping into? Is everything an experience? It's about creating added value.
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Branding is a mushy-gushy concept, but it is definitely a necessity if your business is to stand out and succeed.

We have several coaches who can help you with the practical part of your branding. They have a lot of experience and knowledge which you just have to make use of!

But you might want to consider looking at what research and other wise minds have to say on the subject before you throw yourself into the branding of you and your business. It may be helpful to understand what it is exactly, what it is used for and why it is needed.

We want to help you gain an understanding of how you are connected to branding before you dive into it.

The introduction to branding will be done in 3 parts:

  • The first part will introduce you to the Experience Economy and Transformation Economy. It is important to understand the world we are living in and how it shapes our approach to branding.
  • The second part will introduce the concept of branding and crucial details you need to be aware of.
  • The third part will equip you with some tools and present some available tools in the field of branding that can serve you well.

Part 1: What’s the world you are stepping into?

Many researchers and experts argue that we live in an Experience Economy world - which means that everything is an experience. This takes away the importance of the product and puts emphasis on the experience of your entire business. This is where the focus of your recipients ought to be directed to. When the consumer spends money, it is no longer about the product itself, but about everything around it, which gives the product added value.

Fun fact: two American professors of Experience Economy argue that Disney was the first company to use the principles of Experience Economy (although experience economics was not a concept at the time)

They write:

“We trace the beginnings of this experience expansion to a man and the company he founded: Walt Disney. After making a big name for himself by continually adding new levels of experience effects to cartoons […], Disney put the finishing touches on his career when he opened Disneyland in 1955 - a vibrant cartoon world.”

Even the bigger companies today strive to create a relationship with their recipients and create unique experiences for them. Branding your business as an experience can help you differentiate from others. You can deliver something extra that the competitors cannot. At the same time, it creates a closer relationship with your recipient.

A futurist argues that we, as consumers, demand what is too little of - in an uncertain and changeable world it’s security, whereas in a static world, it’s change. Experience design tries to shape untapped longings and dreams, effectively creating new markets. It is therefore important that you are constantly aware of societal and consumer trends. The branding of your company should not be static, especially since you, your company, society and our consumerism is always evolving. It is important that you always put the recipient at the center of your brand experience design.

We just described the Experience Economy. Yet, many argue that we live in what is known as the Transformation Economy. Experience has become so popular and is almost a matter of basic demand. With Transformation Economy, the focus of brands is not "just" on providing a good experience, but on transforming the recipient and creating lasting personal change.

Therefore, the role of brands is changing. In Experience Economy, the brand's role is to stage memorable experiences that engage the recipient. With the Transformation Economy, the brand becomes the advisor or facilitator of the recipients desired transformation.