The Toaster that won was the same brand as the toaster that made my toast when I was a kid. That brand was a part of my childhood story, it's something that my Mum used to feed her kids, and I can remember it being in the house and being used for ages. This is why Brand is important.

Brand is the intangible part of your product or service. It's the bigger part of your business or organisation that exists beyond your CEO, CFO or the marketing team. The brand is the public story, the myth, that your customer engages with and where they form their opinion on you. Everything from the typography and graphic design to the customer experience, and the tone of voice that your sale rep has when they pick up the phone all play into the intricate picture that consumers create about who you are and what you are. It is scary because a brand lives outside of the marketing teams efforts, you can't control it, only influence, cajole and sell the ideal version of your brand. But no matter what, a customer’s experience is always a unique, specific and fragmented one.

What can marketing do? Marketing has and always should be the champion of the customer. More and more marketing activities are being folded into the experience part of a customer’s journey so that not only are leads being generated and conversions being tracked and promoted, but the experience of the brand is seamless, positive and rewarding. The brand story needs to be not one of just a quality product, but the whole process that revolves around it. There are many ways to tell your brand's story, through humour, empathy, advocacy, innovation, the success stories are easy to see.

When a person is toying with your product and a competitor, the only thing that may sway them towards yours is the story they've told themselves about you. Make sure it's a good one.