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The Certainty of Brands

By Carlos Herrero in Mexico

Brands inspire three human elements, especially in times of crisis: help, hope and happiness. This may sound snobbish or even simplistic from a philosophical point of view but it is precisely from this perspective that reputable brands impart an experience of certainty. All three concepts deserve a treatise by themselves, but we are going to expose a few nuances.

The experience with brands that accompanies you in your life is vital and lifelong.

Human beings need certainty for their quality of life. When we see a globally-known cellphone brand, an airline we trust, a recognized cable TV service, a proven and safe restaurant, a reliable means of transportation or a familiar household appliance, we experience the tranquility of being in good hands. This is especially true when it happens outside the borders of our country or our home. There are brands that bring us the certainty of help, hope and happiness, in a limited and material way, of course, but ultimately, these brands contribute to that angle of happiness called tranquility.

There is a sense of certainty or even satisfaction in recognizing a homegrown brand somewhere else in the world. For Mexicans, it could be recognizing brands such as Bimbo, CEMEX, Modelo, Mabe, or emblematic products such as tequila or tortillas. For Spaniards, it could be seeing Zara, Banco Santander or Iberdrola, or products such as wine or Iberian ham. Brands that add value to their products and services make a significant contribution to quality of life.

In addition, they contribute to a well-understood patriotic pride that also results in recognition of the very essence of our country. Seeing a Corona beer in a village of 30 inhabitants in the center of Castilla can only bring a smile and joy.

Rediscovering brands in the context of emotional and vital satisfaction transports us to the real, pragmatic and immediate value they bring us. The experience of brands is not just a whim or a matter of taste, but a need or a certainty.

As people grow in age and supposedly in experience, we remain loyal to the brands that have accompanied us in life or at least through its important moments. It is striking how people over 70 years old continue to call brands in ways that have even fallen into disuse, but their name and their memory remain. It is the force of certainty and custom that the relevant brands achieve.

Relevant brands are characterized by something as simple as doing things right, without becoming petulant in any way. The great brands of cars, clothing, shoes, jewelry, household appliances, technology and consumer goods know how to do things well; they last and reliably deliver those three H's: help, hope and happiness.

One great satisfaction is to stay in contact and acquire their products and services in a personalized and technologized way. Personalized because today's technological platforms allow an almost infinite versatility and technologized because with three “clicks” you can get what you need or want immediately.

In this way, the experience of a brand that generates all these emotions and certainties in people constitutes an important value for the praxis of life that requires immediate and lasting solutions that bring us value.

With these simple elements of analysis, we can establish a checklist to distinguish a brand (a mark, a signal, a sign, a path, a guide) from what can only be considered a product, a service or a company on a heap of companies. Brands provide specific, relevant values, not run-of-the-mill mediocrity.

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