We tend to think of brands in isolation, as if they exist in their own right, in an absolute sense. We think of a logo perhaps, or a style of packaging, or a particular tagline or strapline.
The properties of a brand only really exist in the minds of its followers, or the people who are aware of the brand; the community built around it.
A brand really has the features of a relationship, and a brand and its following are two sides of the same coin. The one doesn’t exist without the other.
Without a following, you don’t have a brand.
Build a following, and your brand will mean something.
Have a clearer brand, and more people will follow.
Brian Canavan says
I’d add that brand advocacy has become such an important aspect of a brand that following is no longer enough, and we must consider those that actually advocate on our behalf to be part of the ongoing shaping of the brand and subsequently its relationship with the wider brand community and market.
It is all part of the sense of belonging to one particular tribe or another that determine whether we wish to be seen as part of a particular subset of society included in the “brand family” as it were.
It may not always be true, or desirable, that more people will follow but for marketers such as myself it is often more important that the right people connect or indeed aspire to the brand.
Dr David Fraser says
Good points, Brian. Thanks.