It seems to us that more people in Taiwan understand the concepts of Buddhism than branding in Taiwan. There are few brand specialists and millions of practicing Buddhists. So is it possible to draw parallels between the both and if so, will it help Taiwanese companies better understand the principles of Branding. If we look at one of the most important wisdoms of Buddhism, the Hidden Potential, we can perhaps understand what a brand is. The Hidden Potential talks about the fact that nothing is what is is from itself. Deep enough? Lets try to understand this principle through an easy example. You find someone irritating. But someone else finds the same person quite the opposite, caring, loving, fun to be with or around. In this case, we can see that that person in itself is neither irritating or fun to be around. That person is in fact, quite neutral. However, it is our perception of him that makes him what we think he is. Our perceptions are developed through imprints made throughout our lives, good things and bad things and how it has affected us or others. These imprints force us to see things the way we do. How does this relate to branding you ask yourself?
Branding works in very much the same way. A brand in itself is nothing. A trademark, a name, a symbol, a product or an idea in itself is nothing. However, the perception that one has of a brand makes it a brand. People may perceive the brand in different ways, as we saw with the example mentioned above. The way we influence the perception of people is by placing imprints in the mind of people throughout their lives. These imprints, in turn, will manifest themselves through perceptions, negative or positive. In other words, the way you feel about a brand is influenced by what it means to you, how it relates to you or the way it has affected you.
Branding is a feeling. A perception.
In other words, brand success or failure is dependent on how people perceive your brand and not the way you think your brand is perceived. It is important to understand how people are affected by positive and negative imprints, big or small and how you can, in a small way, place imprints in the minds of consumers that may determine the way they feel about your brand. This can be achieved through positive advertising, promotional campaigns, honest charity events, promoting environmental awareness, being generous in times of economic downturns, treating employees and suppliers in a compassionate way, listening to your customers, setting communication methods for consumers to communicate with your brand, supporting a cause and so-on.
Remember, a brand is not what you say it is, a brand is what the consumer says it is.
A brand is a feeling.