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What Does Branding Mean for North East SMEs?

A strong, well-positioned brand is key to the success of any business.

Every interaction the customer has with you, influences their perceptions. Giving your customers something they can believe in will have more value and benefits to your company and they will make decisions based on feeling.

  • A brand is not a logo
  • A brand is not an identity
  • A brand is not a product
  • A brand is a person’s gut feeling about a product or organisation

What makes a good brand?

With a well-crafted strategy, a good brand begins to look more like a belief system than anything else.

This is because, as Simon Sinek, author of Start with Why and star of the fantastic 'How great leaders inspire action' TED talk, says: "People don't buy what you do, they buy why you do it."

This quote has become synonymous with the branding community, coming from Simon Sinek’s TED talk that's been used numerous times to help companies understand branding at a fundamental level.


Sinek’s concept is simple, if you relate to your customers why you do what you do, rather that what you do, they will feel for more compelled to engage with you.

Major brands know this and use it to great effect. Coca Cola has us believing it is, “The real thing”. Apple continues its innovative designs to make us “Think Different”.

For example Apple could have told use they build the best computers, instead they have a mission and vision that explains why this is the case, inviting us to do the same, to Think Different.


Brands like these take on a vibrant life of their own and customers will stand behind them, adopting their claims and evangelising about them to others.

These brands and their promises have grown beyond the mere products or services they sell, evolving into living icons for the company and their believers.

Although Simon's TED talk does not hold the 'golden key' to market success, watching TED talks like Simon's and reading blogs like this one you will be compelled to find your ‘Why'.

However, most people will still fail. This is for two reasons:

  • Their brand positioning is wrong
  • They have not properly defined their brand

Although you may be able to successfully define your 'why', a lot of the time these ideas are formulated in a vacuum and without external stockholders' views and support it will not stick.

The next stage after deciding to embark on a re-brand or even a new brand, is delving deeper into your company and fully understand why you do what you do and how to engage with your customers on their level, for this positioning your brand is key as even if you are sending out the right message, you may not be sending it to the right people.

Find more like this via Design.

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