Connect the Dots.

We must create Brands people can’t stop thinking about.

What power do brands have over people's lives?
Humans have a natural need to belong to something and branding meets that need. 
Branding is the art and science of identifying and meeting the needs of consumers. Its challenge is to realize where attention, imagination, and emotion are captured long enough to gain value and competitive advantage in the marketplace where brands are embedded. A brand is the sum of the perceptions that exist in the consumer's mind.

Why choose a Coke instead of a Pepsi? Or an iPhone over a Samsung? A Renault in detriment of a Peugeot? (These are just a few examples and not everyone likes these products).

Brands exist to grant meaning and logic to a need. They confer personality to a moment. They are born and live for a purpose.

What if we lived in a world without brands? Would it make sense? What criteria would we use to choose our clothing? Would we eat differently? Would we use social networks to watch the news? What process would we use to choose that social network? What would a soccer club, or even a country, be without a brand to give it its ty, position, segment, differentiation, and to be used to communicate its traits?

The fact is that we are no longer able to live without brands, and no matter how hard we try to imagine a "brandless" world (interestingly, this name is a newly repositioned and successful brand), I believe that it would not be complete.

Brands make us feel fulfilled, give meaning to many moments of our daily life, and give a reason for the existence of an economy.

So, what is the criterion? What makes us, the consumers, decide to choose a product? What makes us choose this product over another? What kind of "fulfillment" is brought to our lives int that moment when we decide to choose a particular product?

Analyzing the whole value chain of brand building, from the moment where a consumer (or a market) identifies its need for a product, or the complete experience that it has when using that product, where can we find the true secret that makes brands relevant to the consumer? Where do we find that "click" that makes us feel satisfied? Who never felt "filled in" by buying an Apple product, sipping a Starbucks coffee, posting a photo on Instagram, eating a Santini ice cream, climbing the Eiffel Tower, praising Ronaldo? (or, at least, buying a brand in whose ads he stars?)
Where is that engagement? That experience? That gratification we feel by consuming, that "moment"?

There are multiple and varied forms of brand building and management, but basically, there are 5 large levels that can be visualized as an orbit, in which the first level (Corporate Level) is its "core":

Corporate Level
Any brand with a great expression in our lives has a very well defined base, corporate, inside / out strategy. What brand of success doesn’t define its values internally? Its vision? Its governance model? That doesn’t have a transparent brand architecture for all its stakeholders? That doesn’t articulate its mission projected from the inside to the outside and thoroughly follows it in all of its strategies?

Product / Service Level
Products are no longer mere functional packaging but rather means to provide and fill in customer experiences. When the supply adjusts to demand, it is up to the marketeer to create the launching pad for an experiential experience of the brand with its public. Increasingly, consumers expect brands to intuitively know what they need when they need it and deliver that need instantly.

Experience Level
Who doesn’t like to enjoy a good product, a brand which they love and have the pleasure of enjoying the experience it provides? Who never absorbed a good TV ad / Youtube clip, and felt that it was even living that moment inside the screen? Who never went into a store feeling that they were living an adventure? Who has never opened a simple package with a sense of "this was created for me"?

Connecting Level
Nowadays, no brand lives without truly creating connections with its public. Regardless of the various platforms that are available today, the strategies each of them reveals for its survival and the mediation of each of its projects, today we live in a giant network for a fact and that network runs side by side with our public lives. And it’s with this same myriad of connections in the mind that brands today speak to their audience. Knowing that by being in this space, they are in "permanent" conversation with the consumer.

"Me" Level
This is the most interesting of all levels. First, because it’s the "level" where the brand ceases to have any of its control over the consumer. From this level onward the consumer is the one who owns the "brand" and does whatever he wishes with it. It may or may not obtain more expression with this "power", but if brand management was made "exemplary" up to this point, it will allow the brand to gain a devout, an "agent" who will pass on to its connections all the positive variables that the brand transmitted itself.

Finally, I leave you with a summary of what, in my view, simple brand management should be:
Regardless of the depth of the mirror theory and market experience, the true result of success will always be achieved using the ancestral way of connecting all the points, and all of the communication and marketing variables that any of us have at our mercy nowadays.

And remember:
"Brands will always be the ultimate point of differentiation".
Written by:
Jorge Jorge to "Dinheiro Vivo”  Newspaper
Disrupt. Grow. Change. Repeat.