There are two hitchhikers on the road. One is holding a sign that says “Denver.” The other one is holding a sign that says “Denver, so I can meet my mom for dinner.”
The second hitchhiker is more likely to be picked up. He hasn’t provided information to the world, he has provided an emotion. Branding is the emotional relationship between your firm and its prospects and clients. The emotion is everything.
Take an example of a woman needing a washer for her faucet. With 3D printing, she can go online, get a diagram of the washer and print it at home. If she doesn’t own a 3D printer, she can call her local hardware store, which will produce it for her. No shipping company (or shipping clerks) involved, which also means that companies relying on these shipments for survival will have to change models and rebrand.
If our “washer-needing” woman above can simply print out a faucet washer, why can’t she print out a different, more competitive, and less-expensive version? She’ll stick with her original brand only if it makes financial and emotional sense. Ultimately she will get to make that choice, in real time. She’ll print it herself only if that’s a better alternative than having it shipped or seeking it at the hardware store.
Branding services often are pitched as building a brand: the logos, messaging, colors, and corporate identity. There is a lot of chirping about fonts, typefaces, paper stocks, and company slogans. The best branding experts are familiar with all types of media: TV, movies, radio, web, social, print, email, and mobile. They toss around terms like “YouTube channel” and “Facebook page” but the pros know that those are just tools, not the essence of branding.
Less often, though, do we hear about protecting a brand. Branding should be ongoing, fresh, informative, and captivating. Firms wishing to protect their brands will spend more money more frequently. Just like in a marriage (with the emotional connection), the branding relationship needs constant attention. How many husbands know their wives love them? And how many still want to be shown and told about this love? How frequently? Let’s take that a step further. That same wife may (hopefully) love her mother, her child, her cousin, her sister, her best friends, and her cat. Well, maybe she hates her cat. Does she express love the same way to all of those parties? Does she use different emotions, different messaging, and different behaviors to demonstrate this? Yes, she uses different tactics – and she does so intuitively.
So, how do we 3D print money from this knowledge? You can find out more with this 3D Printing Book.