Nowadays everything is a brand. It has a name, a character, a rank, and offers a promise. Even you are a brand with your character, choices, and beliefs. Branding is thought to have begun by Ancient Egyptians who marked their livestock with hot irons as early as 2,700 BC. Since then, people have wanted to differentiate their products and mark their own work.
The word brand derives from its original ‘burning’ in Old English, which is of Germanic Origin. ‘Brand’ now means a type of product manufactured by a particular company under a particular name, a particular identity or image regarded as an asset, it also still means an identifying mark burned on livestock.
Brands influence us in many ways. Many of our decisions, behavior and how we want to be perceived are based on the brands we choose. A brand is more than a product; it is a way of life. Different brands affect us in many ways and being aware of these motives is an essential element in understanding ourselves.
–We buy brands to express who we are or who we want to be.
The shoes and clothes we wear, the car we drive, the cell phone we use to give an idea about who we are, our social level and how we want to be perceived. We define part of our identities by the things we own.
–We buy brands to feel different and special
As humans, we always like to think of ourselves as special from other people maybe even better in some ways. We want to show off and gain attention many times by the brands we choose that support this concept.
–We buy brands because we believe they add value
What makes us choose more expensive branded products rather than the same non-branded products? Maybe it’s a belief that they offer better quality or their state in society or a little bit of both.
-We buy brands to fit in & belong
We, as humans, are wired to connect and be part of a group. We all have this instinctual craving to belong to society, a group of friends, family, or a certain social class and we will do anything to do so or at least act the part. That is why we often buy trendy brands even if we aren’t very convinced by the product itself just to be seen as part of the fashionable and elite group.
-We buy brands to feel safe
Most people don’t like to take risks. They like to feel safe and stick to what they know to get expected results. A brand offers this promise of quality that makes people turn to when there are many choices.
Sellers work on these motives and consumer psychology to sell their products at higher prices and make you believe that it is worth it. Not just because you are buying the product but because you are buying the belief that it will make you better and add to your value. It reflects the life you want, the life you deserve and all will help you reach it. Slogans like Nike’s “Just Do It” or Vodafone’s “Power to you” don’t reflect on the quality of their products but rather on the character they present that you most probably would like to convey. A great quote is “A brand is a voice and a product is a souvenir” by Lisa Gansky. So what is your brand?