Why Don’t People Remember My Brand?

Is your brand struggling to connect with your customers? Here are 4 hacks to make your brand one that people will finally remember.

In my nearly 10 years of Digital Marketing, I’ve worked with countless companies to create new brands and logos and custom designs that make their product or service look interesting, exciting, new.

From the hours spent in meetings, the broadsheet planning, the SWOT analysis and the endless searching through google trends for ideas – the endless revisions and the always new key stakeholder who has to be appeased – rebranding a company is an exhausting task!

…And after all that, I can remember maybe a handful of these brands.

Why is that? Why do so many of these brands end up feeling identical to one another? Brands are supposed to stand out from the crowd, help customers identify with your business, and communicate your vision and mission to the world.

So how can something so important, so vital, so personal – end up so boring?

Well, as it turns out, I may have just stumbled on the answer to that question. And in doing so, discovered 4 truly effective ways to make a memorable brand that anyone can follow.

Let’s get going!

1) No More Logos Designed By Committees

What did all my worst rebrands have in common? Way too many meetings and way too many key corporate stakeholders!

A brand is a unifying vision of your company the common thread that brings it all together not the opinions of every middle manager!

“But Bailey!” – you ask – “we need to get everyone on board to back the new brand otherwise it won’t be adopted by the team!”

And that’s totally understandable! Committees can serve a great purpose in the preplanning stage, in identifying what those shared values and missions are, in digging down through the swafts of personal opinions to find the real feelings at the core of your company.

But when it comes time to crystalize all that into a single image – your logo, the flagship of your brand – then too many cooks will ruin the meal.

A good logo is decisive, individual and unique to your brand. If your brand can be interpreted by 8 different options, mashed together by a committee with competing ideas, how could it ever send a clear message?

Meet Paul Rand the creator of many of the most famous corporate logos, including IBM, UPS, Enron and Morningstar. Rand was notorious for bringing 1 – just – 1 logo to his brand pitches.

By presenting just 1 idea, one unifying concept, one absolute distillation of his idea, Rand was able to present a distinctive and memorable option to these companies. They were clear, and undiluted by options and alternatives.

A logo that is clear is distinct, is individual, and is memorable. But it’s not just the logo, this principle applies to everything about a brand, because …

2) Less Is More

It is easier to remember one thing than multiple things, and where good brands stand out from the crowds, bad brands are muddled and conflicting. It seems so simple but it bears stating outright: don’t dilute the brand, and don’t confuse the customer!

Trying to do everything weakens your position on any individual thing. Rather than pushing all your services or products at the same time, figure out what it is you want to be known for what makes your company unique and focus in on it.

Think less about what you sell, and more about what you do!

Similar to what we discussed with logos, a good brand should communicate to your customers clearly and distinctly – this is what we are about. Simplicity is key. What simple need or want is your companys’ product filling?

Humans are creatures of habit – we like things ordered and organised and easy. We’re very sophisticated and good looking and incredibly complex problem solvers, but underneath all that, we are animals who are looking to fulfil our needs and our wants as quickly and simply as possible.

3) Unique Personality, Not Proposition

“What is your unique selling proposition?” is probably question 2 or 3 in literally every rebrand kickoff meeting ever (right after what payment method are you going with?).

And while it’s not a bad way to start the proceedings, it definitely shouldn’t be the final word on your new brand!
Marketing and Selling are similar disciplines, but they serve very different functions. Selling focuses on your needs the needs of the seller but marketing focused on customer needs.

Meet Theodore Levitt American economist and author of Marketing Myopia and one of the first people to centre marketing efforts on customers instead of companies. His belief was that customers want to get things done and your brand needs to match this desire you might be selling a quarter inch drill, but a customer wants a quarter inch hole!

“But Bailey” – you interject – “my competitors don’t sell diamond tipped stainless steel drills, that makes me unique!”

And that’s true, and it’s a helpful way to convince a potential customer to choose your product. But to enter into their thought process at all, you need a brand that covers not just the decision but creates the desire that leads to that decision in the first place.

This is your brands personality – not just selling products, but why you got into this business, what problems you wanted to solve, what desires you wanted to fill.

Your brand is not the products or services you offer, it’s the integration of the ideas that go into creating, delivering, and consuming your products or services.

Which is why it’s so important that…

4) You Live Your Brand

No brand lives purely by itself, they exist to convey the meaning and ideas and desires of thing they represent. The power of a brand is only in its association to a service, a product, a business – this is the only way it can take on any real meaning.

This means that in order for your brand to actually work – to accurately embody your company values and goals and ideas – then those values and goals and ideas need to actually be held and practised by your company!

This doesn’t make your brand insignificant, it makes your brand the cultivated persona that your customers can connect with. The distilled version of all the different parts of you that is easy to understand and easy to remember.

Customers follow brands, so make your brand a real leader by creating and demonstrating value to those clients in everything you do. Make your brand more than the logo on your letterhead, or the colour on your walls. Make a brand that is the heart and soul of your company; the everyday commitment between you and your customers.

A good brand asks “what do our customers want? What do our customers need from us?” And then rises to answer these questions – not just in logos and colours and letterheads, but in practice.

And a good brand is remembered.