Name Recognition. NOT!

A few weeks ago I was trying to convince a client that his plan of action wasn’t exactly in his best interest. My client countered with “Isn’t name recognition part of what we are trying to do?” I told him we weren’t interested in name recognition. We were interested in brand recognition.

Name recognition and brand recognition are two very different things. Because a brand is much, much more than a name. A name by itself won’t get you very far.  But your brand story will.

I’m reading Make Your Idea Matter: Stand Out with a Better Story, by Bernadette Jiwa. It’s a brilliant little book, recommended by my coach. It’s all about the importance of a brand story. Early on in the book, Bernadette lists 20 different definitions of a brand. And interestingly, none of her examples have the word “name” in them.  Here are a few:

1.    A promise.
2.    A feeling created.
3.    A set of expectations met.
4.    Trust built between a customer and a business.
5.    Communication with and without words.
6.    The experience a customer has.
7.    The impression that’s left at the last interaction.

People need a product, but people want a brand. People connect to brands and have relationships with them…in the same way they have relationships with people. Connection is created by a brand story that is authentic to the brand, differentiating from competition and meaningful to the audience.

If you want people to connect with you, they need to know more than your name.  They need to know your story.

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