What’s in a name?

Only the key to victory.

Because if sales is a war, then brand is the way to win it.

A brand is an identity.

An identity is an idea.

And an idea is bulletproof.

Simply put, a brand is what people think when they hear your name. A brand is someone’s perception of both the facts (comes in a red and white can, or saves you 15% or more on car insurance) but also an opinion formed by their emotional relationship to the product (it makes my life easier).

Sure, it exists only inside people’s minds. But it’s for that precise reason that a brand is so powerful. Reality is nothing but what we perceive. So if you can change your perception, you change your reality. And when you change your reality, you change your bottom line.

It’s Coke versus Pepsi: two products that are by all intents and purposes the same. But when I say one, then the other, you think of two completely different stories, don’t you?

It’s the stories we tell that lead us to victory.

A country is a brand. A religion is a brand. We are all but walking, individual brands in this cosmic pinball machine called life. If you want to get the replay, you’ve got to play smarter.

A great brand is like putting a megaphone in hand, and drawing people in with your magnetic message.

When you have an unbeatable brand, you won’t attract customers. You’ll develop devotees. Look at how many people stand in line for the latest Apple device (or even pay someone else to stand in line for them).

A beautiful brand produces the kind of loyalty that results in the pledge of firstborn sons if it gets the product delivered sooner.

So companies on the rise should not ask the value of brand, but the power of brand.

Because you don’t just want sales. You want allegiance. It’s the compound interest of intellectual property. You change consumers into card-carrying members of your brand.

It’s like a pandemic of intellectual property, but rather than converting people into shambling masses of zombie hordes, you get card-carrying allegiants to your product, who’ve sworn fealty to its supremacy, and will serve as ambassadors when they go about their daily lives.

When you’re focused solely on sales and numbers, you’re focused on winning battles. And hell, you might even keep a winning streak.

But when you focus on building a beautiful brand, you’re winning the war.

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