The importance of brand
There are many steps that go into purchasing a product or a service. From recognizing a problem/need, searching for information, evaluating alternatives to the actual purchase decision there are many factors that influence the outcome. As you might have seen in episode 4 of our vlog “Your Vlog Sucks” we recently got a pair of Guzauski Swist speakers to see how they hold up against our trusted B&Ws and maybe purchase them to future proof our studio. Just us considering spending around 20k on that specific pair of studio monitors made me think about the importance of building a brand as a business in 2019.
There are probably 50 or more manufacturers worldwide that can make you a fantastic sounding set of speakers for less money. The problem is, we won’t be trying them, simply because they do not have the brand just for us to know they exist. Of course, those products need to deliver on quality as well, but it all starts with brand awareness. A good example for a brand that has truly penetrated the mainstream is Apple. Even somebody who knows nothing about computers and phones can recall at least the logo, the image and stories around the company. All those influences end up forming your opinion about a brand and ultimately, steer you into, or away from a purchasing decision.
A brand is all the stories you know about it.
Sticking with Apple as an example, the 2015 film “Steve Jobs” shows just how far branding can go. Even knowing often unrelated details about Steve Jobs’ personal life can change or expand your views on a brand. For me personally, that’s Sennheiser. In 1974 my dad came home with a pair of headphones with yellow pads, the iconic Sennheiser HD424. I still to this day remember how I listened to a vinyl record that featured “3D” sound, which made it seem like a voice was coming from behind you. I have since then tested many different headphones and educated myself on the matter but that story from almost 40 years ago still sticks with me to this day.
What can I do to build my own brand?
The great thing about the internet age is, that everybody gets the chance to build their personal, or business brand from the ground up with little, or no cost up front. Back in the day you had to spend millions of dollars/euros on television commercials, and you still couldn’t even produce long form content. For that you had to buy your way into long term product placement deals to get your products into movies and television shows. Nowadays you have the chance to build a genuine connection to an audience on platforms that have attracted most of the attention of end consumers.
Without knowing the exact numbers, there are probably thousands and thousands of people worldwide who built a brand and managed to make a good living, I’m not talking about millions of dollars, but a very good living, often well into the Top 1% with music. We don’t know most of them, maybe they’re in a very specific niche, maybe they’re working behind the scenes by choice, but it is a reality. This upward trend will, in my opinion, continue for a while, so learn from the people who got theirs and go get yours!