Branding is vital if you want to create greatness, if you can brand something you can succeed in something. A brand helps you establish and define something with ease and potency. Branding creates connotation, it has a voice, a feel, vibe, it has character.
If I say Red Bull, you’re likely to think; extreme sports, bulls, wings, cupid, fiery reds and electric blue, jumping out of a balloon, speed, energy, premium energy drink… All that is clear from saying the name, seeing the logo, the incredible power of a brand. And they can use that as a framework for presentations, status updates and customer interaction. Their world renowned social media strategy is strong and effective. They know exactly who they are and they don’t stray from that.
If I say to you Jim Jarmusch, what do you think of? Filmmaker, rock n rock style, hipster, white shock of hair, eclectic, weird, idiosyncratic, disconnected, wry…
Thats Jim’s brand! He is the complete epitome of himself, the definition. As much as he can surprise you in his films, you kinda get that feeling that you knew you were going to get that.
One more example; SAW. What are you thinking? Gore, brutality, censorship, 18 rating, grunge, cancer, brain tumour, death, torture, cruelty, Tobin Bell. With every further instalment, regardless of whether they were any good or not, you knew exactly what you were going to get, how it would play out, the brand of SAW is powerful, it transfers with ease – it’s a franchise with comic books, games, apps… even rides and attractions! So well defined, it’s memorable and applicable for anything their sights are set too.
So lets just summarise this nice and easy for us to review.
Benefits of branding:
- Influencer of choice
Consumers will no longer dither over alternatives and compare options, they choose your brand, your film – because they know what it stands for.
- Loyalty and Advocacy
When people buy into a brand, they buy into the atmosphere, they are in its ‘house’. Everything that goes on in this ‘house’, the way people are treated, respected, talked to and engaged, creates an emotional bond. People become loyal, stand up for your brand and become evangelise on your behalf. How many times have you argued over how good a certain film is over another? It might not be the better film, but you loved this film, you got this films back!
- Command a price premium
Competing on price is a race to the bottom, I never understand why people do it… Well I do, it’s laziness. Too lazy to try, too lazy to fight too lazy to compete! Everyone must find a way to differentiate themselves from their competition. Strong branding helps you achieve this and encourages customers to pay for the intangible benefits; appearing cool, trendy, forward thinking or intelligent.
You don’t want to compete on tangible things, these can be copied. As mentioned above those emotional, intangible benefits are what you strive to develop and define. Standing out from your competition is your reward for doing this.
- Platform for growth
Like SAW and its franchise status, a well defined brand is the launch pad to bigger opportunities. It’s much easier to transfer these qualities over to new markets than starting from scratch each time.
- A framework for integration
As you grow and take bigger opportunities, you stretch your brand out, knowing exactly what the brand is helps you navigate and define yourself in these new territories. Strategies are easy, you just build on the framework you’ve established. Viewer relationships are dealt with in your particular way, and you keep this ‘voice’ consistent, its how you would talk, IM, recommend, interact, post and update in.
Lets boil that down into 3 crystal clear things;
A credible brand will align the way a film behaves with the way it is portrayed.
A clear brand will ensure its values are adhered to throughout its communications and actions.
A consistent brand will have visible manifestation across every ‘touch point’ your consumer experiences.
What sort of brand are you? Tell me 5 keywords about you as a filmmaker or your recent film in the comments below.