First things first. A logo is not a brand.  A theme line is not a brand.  Brands are a line in the sand in which companies make a promise.  Really effective brands go even further by creating a company with purpose.  Aristotle once said, “where your talents and the needs of the world cross, there lies your calling” and companies that follow this thinking are the ones that have the best chance to build bonds with their communities and customers.

Branding isn’t a new concept, just an idea that gets overlooked and confused.  Many organizations think if they create an identity system, they have “branded” the company.  Nothing could be further from the truth. Effective companies like Apple have listened to customers needs rather than creating products hoping that there is a customer somewhere that wants it. Some companies take their promise even further by involving themselves in causes that are associated with the culture of their customers and target markets. Companies like Pepsi have even gone so far as to create social based website like Pepsi PULSE and before that, Pepsi Refresh, that deliver on the promise that they make to their customers as well as engage them in items of interest. This engagement is a true demonstration of a company with purpose.

More than just a spend of capital, it shows that a company has made a commitment to its customers and what is important to them rather than just the company’s bottom line.  Furthermore it is a statement that the company is willing to stand for something.  This holds true not only in business to consumer categories but also in business to business channels as well.  Many companies today have taken on the task of creating sustainable responsibility within their community as well as globally.

As you can see, companies that are brave enough stake their position are having continued success in truly engaging with their customers. This results in creating an emotional bond that goes beyond just selling them products or services, it develops a relationship that can reach deeply into today’s social media.

This is a sustainable strategy that creates great companies.  It’s what we call Brand Emotion.  This is where companies develop relationships with their audiences that demonstrate a true understanding of their needs, passions and desires.