A brand is not just a logo. A brand is the visual, emotional, rational and cultural image that an audience comes to associate with a service or product.
The power of branding is huge – so much so that when purchasing a Starbucks coffee consumers believe they are buying a lifestyle, not just a cup of coffee. Compelling brands are relevant, engaging, entertaining and more often than not courageous. People remember these brands and know what to expect from them. In other words, branding is an unwritten promise, it’s a trust between brand and consumer. Nothing illustrates this power more than the recent Apple iWave phenomenon.
Apple is one of the world’s most powerful brands and when it comes to brand loyalty, you’re unlikely to find a more dedicated customer base. For millions, Apple technology has become an integral part of their self-identity and some are so committed, they are willing to go to all extremes for the brand.
Earlier this year, Internet pranksters 4-chan issued a fake advertisement following the release of Apple’s iOS8 update. The ad was a convincing-looking mock-up of an Apple ad that contained the iconic logo, imagery and typeface… and informed consumers that the new iOS8 update would allow them to charge their iPhone in the microwave.
Image credits to http://bit.ly/1tFVUrS
Many people fell for the imitation ad and did exactly what it told them – beloved iPhones were placed in the microwave for the instructed 90 seconds and they waited for it to recharge. Shockingly, the power of their trust in the Apple brand proved to be stronger than the power of their own common sense. Instead, as you would expect, the iPhones caught fire, and ended up 100% broken, rather than 100% charged!!
Apple have created a cult-like following behind their brand and by using the same font, same layout and the instantly recognisable logo, the loyal and trusting Apple customers believed every word of the hoax advertisement.
Which begs the question… how powerful is your brand?