Branding professionals encounter this question regularly.
Let’s borrow the definition of brand from my last article. “What is a brand? For a common man brand is a name, term, design or symbol that identifies one seller’s good or service as distinct from those of other sellers. An expert would define these as an outward manifestation of the concept or an abstract thought called brand, it goes quite deeper than all these. It’s like a considering an idol in a temple, as the god or considering a person as mere mass made of flesh and bones. Brand is more than the logo creation; it’s just an expression of a larger intangible asset or personality of the product or service. Brand is like a soul to the human being, which helps flesh and bones to become a human being.”
If we take this as the definition, branding spreads across to all type of organisations, people, places etc. You have to apply the principles of branding if you need an identity differentiated from your competitors or pals.
“We don’t want a brand creation” is a regular comment from most of the entities or personalities. This misconception is based on a narrow minded definition of marketing, in most of the cases. For common man marketing is sales, they forget other Ps. Sales is just a small portion in marketing spectrum. This is evident if you analyze any well-known organization or personality. They all will have a perfect set of branding elements. These would have been there knowingly or unknowingly.
Even religious figures and politicians are not different. Take the example of Mahatma. Look at the brand name of Gandhi, the packaging (dressing), Philosophy, etc. All of them were perfectly suitable for the target audience. TG (Common man) never found any difficulty in associating themselves with the brand. Look at the methodologies adopted for resistance; all were in congruence with the brand. Everything about the brand Mahatma was differentiated, well aligned to a core positioning and TG specific. We can see the same if we analyze all famous personalities. The same is applicable for Religions and Gods also.
It’s evident from the above discussion that a perfect alignment of branding principles is necessary for any activity to be successful. Question about your intention whether to plan it in advance or to give the control to situations.