What is brand philosophy?
Philosophy is a theory or attitude that acts as a guiding principle for behavior (Oxford Dictionary)
Brand philosophy is the rule of action to achieve the brand’s defined goals.
Different like Apple
Apple’s brand philosophy comes from their own slohan “Think different”.
In the opinion of Steve Jobs, computers are not just … computers (like IBM). It should also be beautiful. Jobs was obssessed by the beauty. In Walter Isaacson’s autobiography, he described that Jobs even requested engineers to design beautiful inside chip kit despite that few people look into these inner parts.
With the philosophy of “differentiation by the beauty”, Apple’s late-born brands have surpassed giants: iMac vs. IBM, iPod vs. Sony Walkman and iPhone vs. Nokia and Blackberry.
Apple has been put under pressure by the competitor Samsung. The Korean competitor has “copied and pasted” Apple’s recipe of success: focus on eye-catching designs and marketing. However, there is one thing Samsung can only “copy” but cannot to “paste”: Apple’s brand philosophy. “Differentiation by the beauty” has become Apple’s own asset and is not in any particular format for competitors to successfully “paste”.
The philosophy of IKEA
The philosophy of IKEA is “good products for everyone” which is demonstrated in the book “The testament of a furniture dealer” by IKEA’s founder Ingvar Kamprad.
The first line in this “Bible” of IKEA is “Make a better life for everyone day by day” which is also IKEA’s vision these days. Kamprad explained that “In business, many new and well-designed products do not come to most of consumers. The mission of IKEA is to change this situation.”
And the story of Viettel
The philosophy of Viettel is the action of difference dut to the difference of demands among different customer groups. They treat every customer as an individual identity. They respect, care, listen and serve in a differentiated way. Constantly innovated, collaborative with customers to create increasingly perfect products and services. The slogan “Say it your way” and the logo of the quotation mark (the respect of saying citation) both communicate the brand philosophy.
Actually, “Say in your way” is quite similar to Burger King’s “Have it your way”. But luckily, Burger King’s slogan is not common in Vietnam; other wise, the philosophy of “every customer is an individual entity” would find it difficult to communicate to customers.
In the book “Built to last” written by Jim Collins and Jerry Porras about 18 most successful companies in the worrld in the past 100 years. These great brands share on thing in common: they never change their philosophy during their life cycles.
Either strategy or vision/mission can be changed or modified but brand philosophy.
In a flat world, most of things can be imitated except for the brand philosophy. No matter it is good or bad, every brand should have its own philosophy to be different.
Brand Strategy – Richard Moore Associates