Different By Omar Puebla & Veikko Airas
Nowadays, we see new brands appear every day in the market, some of them proclaiming to be better than the competition and is the same with the business, they claim to be the better, the faster, the coolest. This is the huge mistake that many companies made when they create their brand or don’t have any brand. A business that has no brand or a wrong brand is destined to die.
The word Branding is so misused by many people, which is why it has already lost the sense of its meaning. It is so essential that new entrepreneurs understand the importance of brand and the art of Branding.
So What is Branding?
To answer this, maybe I need to start to say what is not Branding. Branding it’s not a logo or a bunch of marketing stuff, Branding is not illustrations with nice colors and good-looking fonts, Branding is not a design, but the design is part of Branding. Design is an essential tool for the creation and management of a brand; however, a brand goes beyond design a brand is the sum of components that are generated in all its points of connection: product, service, environment,
communication, in other words, is a customer’s gut feelings about a company, a product, or service.
A Brand is no longer what you say it is, Brand it’s what customers say it is.
The brand is about experiences, how a company, a product, or service makes you feel. People love stories. I believe a good story can create feelings.
This is my story. I’m originally from Ecuador in Latinamerica, my mother language is Spanish, but I’m living in Finland, yes I know! It is not just who is asking the same question, Why Finland? To be honest with you is the question that I try to answer myself every day.
Here in Finland, especially in the wintertime, the weather can reach minus around minus 45 – 50. I remember one winter I was living in Helsinki in the south of Finland was the coldest in my life minus 30 degrees, the only action of breath hurts, the cold air enters to your lungs go fast that you are ending by coughing, that is an extreme experience.
But Ecuador is a very tropical country always green, we don’t have seasons like winter, spring or summer, if we have winter is the rainy season, well that season is raining a lot. We have Volcanoes and Mountains, some of them the biggest in the world, with a peak elevation of 6,263 m from sea level. We have the Amazon Jungle, where you can find anacondas, piranhas, jaguars, and giant tarantulas. Ecuador has stunning beaches, and the temperature can be between 15 to 30 degrees celsius. The soil is so rich in Ecuador that it grows many kinds of fruits and vegetables, fruits are sweeter than the fruits here in Europe. Ecuador the country of the four worlds, The diversity of this amazing, unique country is mainly based on the four different climate zones you can find in Ecuador: Amazonas, Andes, Coast, and the Galapagos Islands. Since they are all very close to each other, you could easily visit all four “worlds” of Ecuador within one week of holiday.
But I live here in Finland, and I love many things about Finland like the sauna, Finns have a proper sauna culture. According to some Finland, data are over 2,5 million saunas around the country, houses, buildings, offices, public places, hotels, resorts, and cottages. But for Finns, the sauna is much more than that.
It is a sacred place.
It is a special place that has its one-of-a-kind appeal.
It is the go-to place for ultimate relaxation.
It is something that carries substantial importance in the national culture of Finland.
A couple of days ago, a friend came with one business idea, ICE SAUNA. Yes, I wrote right, Ice sauna. I know many ideas are coming to your head. How is that possible? Well is possible with the right conditions and right materials… ice.
My friend and his friends started to build the sauna with blocks of ice that they cut from the frozen lake, yes, they cut blocks of 1 x 0.45m with a big saw. They transport them with a plastic sled, each piece of ice weighs more than 20 kg, the moved 240 blocks total.
They worked in extreme temperatures below 20 degrees, and very long days, some forgot to drink water. At night, they got a terrible headache.
I was there to help him with 2 or 3 blocks, but people who walk by starting to ask what is happening.
People were very interested to know what is happening. An Ice sauna is built next to the lake catches the attention of many people. New papers came to make an article about the project. The TV came as well in the office to visit Tampere contact them.
In marketing, we call “the unfair advantage” (lean startup business) is something about your product or service have and is hard to copy. It can be the component of your product, can be your business model, can be the exotic experience you give to your customer or some very rare or new technology. Your unfair advantage can be many things, even storytelling.
All these stories in this essay have something in common they are incredibly different, the story about two 2 other countries, all the facts
to try to catch your attention.
“The Storytelling” I believe this tactic is used by the best brand and companies in the world.
Storytelling is a uniquely human attribute. It is an imaginative process between the composer and responder that invites us, as the audience to engage vicariously with the experience of others. Stories or narratives have been shared in all cultures as a means of education, entertainment and also to notify the audience of the values and belief systems of our culture.
Storytelling is actually the oldest way to deliver a message – or to explain the world. Ancient peoples used storytelling. Politicians use storytelling. (Good guy, Bad guy)You’re using storytelling for yourself and your business, even if you don’t call it exactly that.
Here is a shortlist of different kinds of storytelling.
Have an Enemy and a Hero
Stories need a good guy and a bad guy – also called a hero and an enemy. The enemy can be a thing, like a desert or “the system” or even fear within the hero. The arc of the story is how the hero beats the enemy.
The mountain structure is a way of mapping the tension and drama in a story. It’s similar to the Enemy and a Hero because it helps us to plot when certain events occur in a story.
It’s different because it doesn’t necessarily have a happy ending. The first part of the story is given to setting the scene and is followed by just a series of small challenges and rising action before a climactic conclusion. (Drama)
The False start
A ‘false start’ story is when you begin to tell a seemingly predictable story, before unexpectedly disrupting it and beginning it over again. You lure your audience into a false sense of security, and then shock them by turning the tables.
This format is great for talking about a time that you failed in something and were forced to ‘go back to the start’ and reassess. It’s ideal for talking about the things that you learned from that experience. Or the innovative way that you solved your problem.
The Petal Structure
The petal structure is a way of organizing multiple speakers or stories around one central concept. It’s useful if you have several unconnected stories you want to tell or things you want to reveal – that all relate to a single message.
You tell your stories one by one before returning to the center. The petals can overlap as one story introduces the next but each should be a complete narrative in itself.
In doing so, you can weave a rich tapestry of evidence around your central theory. Or strong emotional impressions around your idea.
By showing your audience how all these key stories are related to one another, you leave them feeling the true importance and weight of your message.
Sparklines are a way of mapping presentation structures. Graphic designer Nancy Duarte uses sparklines to analyze famous speeches graphically in her book Resonate.
She argues that the very best speeches succeed because they contrast our ordinary world with an ideal, improved world. They compare what is with what could be.
By doing this the presenter draws attention to the problems we have in our society, our personal lives, our businesses. The presenter creates and fuels a desire for change in the audience.
Politicians use this technique a lot. We can see an excellent example of this method in Martin Luther king’s speech. ” I Have A Dream”.
The extremely different is a way of organizing multiple stories that are entirely different from each other. It is not about telling who is the best or who is the faster or stronger. It’s useful if you have several unconnected stories you want to tell or things you want to reveal – that all relate to a single message in this word are very extreme differences.
You tell your stories one by one before returning to the center.
We can see this in documentaries about the different climates around the world.
When creating ideas the environment is important in idea creating the team that is formed to get ideas has to have good common understatement and to be able to respect each other’s ideas. When having this kind of like environment the whole team will have a safe feeling and are more open about their ideas so even the craziest ideas come up. The idea with the ice sauna from the start was that it is an experiment with how to do it. If it fails that’s okay! The only thing that it will cost is time and money. Exchange of that? An awesome experience that will give an incredible amount of knowledge for the next projects and the ability to hold up pressure how to keep up customer contact and how to market and brand product.
The advanced ice sauna was its uniqueness even in the Finlands standards it is a rare sight and people get interested about unusual things much easier. The sauna was also builder on the really visible place where there were passing hundreds of people every day so it got free visibility with the location.
The story we had was interesting to people because it was so easily approachable for people. “Ordinary students built up an ice sauna” gives this human contact. The story it had was unique and that’s why it was easy to get the media’s attention also. To normal people, it was also that the product had faces behind it so they wanted to come for just sheer helpfulness. When people read the article they naturally got interested “how on earth does it work?” And came to see it. In the case of jääsauna the project was so short it didn’t have the time to start thinking about brand management. It had a brand and had supporters but didn´t have a loyal customer base yet. So it missed the consistency of money flow coming in because it had no regular customer base so the money coming in was really unstable.
When the brand is established it is important not to fell in love with it but to be able to be still aware and see outside the box. There’s a lot of competition that is constantly improving that the brand will face. When managing the brand it is important to be aware and to be able to see outside the box and not fell in love with the first idea you get. This way the brand will improve all the time and the innovation will continue. When managing a brand the brand is growing and customer base and new employees will come in this situation it is important to have clear values in the company. It is also good to acknowledge why is your brand really unique and what makes it different from others and embracing it. Analyzing the market and following also what is the neighbor doing is important. This way it is possible to position your product in the market. Also going through competitors’ customer feedback is a way to save time and money in the research process. There might not be the winning sauce there but seeing what the competition does might give an idea of what to develop. And you can acknowledge your brand’s strengths easier.
In one of Steve Jobs´s speeches, Steve said: “In the Nike ads Nike never talks about their products instead they honor great athletes” They define WHO they are and WHAT they are about. Apple is known for its simplicity and that also implements in their marketing this is the way to create the feeling straight away to the customers that they are part of something great. The biggest brands have really precise definitions of what they are making and doing and have a deep core value that they embrace. Big brands are about their big goals and they are focusing on something bigger an “impact” on something and bring that up in their marketing.
Creating a loyal customer base.
A good brand will differ somehow from its competition and has the consistency of the quality and the feeling the customer gets from the product or service the company provides. Building up a trust for the brand is crucial. This kind of like brand will leave á memory for the customer and next time a change to consume something the brand they´ve used before has a higher chance to be chosen. This process takes a long time but makes chances to go ahead of the competition in long term a lot better. There are many ways and here are few ways to create a loyal customer recognizing them for using your product or service this will give the feeling to the customer that they matter. Few ways to do it: discounts for loyalty, interacting and reacting to feedback when giving the feeling that the company they are using really listens to them will make the customer trust the company and the company will have a chance to improve themselves. Also having transparency in the company will boost up the trust customers have towards the company it gives a safe feeling when they know where is the product from and what is it made of a good example of this is Patagonia. Patagonia is really transparent about where they get their materials from and where are the clothes made. Having the humble human connection is important focusing on the details like being polite always and answering the emails you get from customers quickly in one research it was noticed that almost 80% of the consumers say that having a human connection is important.
Defining the products your brand has clearly and simply will make the customer understand the brand better and the brand will be more easily approachable when it is easier to understand. When having a brand being aware of what possibilities the brand has is also important. Locking into one product will not work in most cases. Having more products and choosing precisely what products to have and being clear about the lineup you have is beneficial to have more volume and visibility to the brand but it is important to choose the right products to have. Having the brand line up too broad could undermine the brand’s definition. Defining clearly what products the brand has makes Public identification easier. With public identification making certain colors, designs, and fonts recognizable in your brand is a crucial good example is for example Apple. Apple has really simplified designs and the colors they usually use are really subtle and when it comes to their logo. Can it be simpler than that? Figure out the purpose of the product or service what problem it solves what makes it different from the competition and embracing it.
Story of the brand
Having a strong story and background behind the company also affects the way people see the brand when thinking about Patagonia. Patagonia has shared its history in form of even a book and they go deep into the roots of what made Patagonia. Patagonia, for example, is from the bouldering really early days before it came really popular it might have had an affection for the industry that is existing now so its roots are really strong in the market so sharing the story will make people understand why is it so good brand.
Having a face behind the brand.
One way to get your brand to get noticed is also having certain people behind the brand like when thinking about Tesla. Elon Musk comes to mind really quickly why take Elon as an example? Elon has many companies and they have a common brand behind all Elon. Elon has many companies and most of them are acknowledged as Elon´s companies himself a good example of this is when hearing Boring company´s name you might not straight away think of it as a good brand but when you hear that Elon is behind that brand you straight away appreciate it a bit more. So Elon has basically branded himself.