Tag Archives: corporate branding

New Rules of Branding in Business– Golden Rules: Get Edgy, Get Relevant… or, Get Lost in the Competitive Noise…

Branding is a promise of quality, reputation, value– It encompasses everything about a company– sometimes good, sometimes bad, depending on public’s perception… branding is what you do– not what you say… it’s a promise to deliver on– what’s wanted, desired, expected… branding is the sum-total of all customers ‘experiences’… branding is about shaping perceptions…

Branding is the idea that anytime, anyone hears the name of the business, product… they will know exactly what it stands for… branding, simply put, is a ‘promise’, which is derived from– who you are, who you want to be, who people perceive you to be…

According to Frank Strong; branding isn’t a company name… it’s not a tag line… it’s not a logo… it’s an expectation of an experience… The company tag line, logo, colors… only exist to call that experience to mind… The essence of a brand lies within its meaning– words have meaning but ‘actions’ create the brand… According to Beau Phillips; brand is the identity– it’s what people say about you… the value of the brand changes daily– nurture the brand, care for it… Live up to the brand promise every day…

According to Steven Donaldson and Michael Zinke; if you do anything, realize that the company (brand) has to stand out against the vast expanse of competitive– brands, options… Know and understand your competition, but don’t do what they are doing– be different, be relevant! You’ll get noticed… This is the mantra of the ultimate marketing guru, Seth Godin, who says– be a Purple Cow… The more truly unique (but still real) the brand is, the more interesting it will be…

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According to Jonathan Salem Baskin; Steve Jobs was a magician capable of casting a ‘reality distortion field’ on anyone in his presence… he ruined branding as we knew it… Jobs blew up the rules of branding simply because he didn’t recognize them… he didn’t follow the approved checklist… he knew that someone else’s success wouldn’t be his own, not because of his ego, but because it’s a fact that imitating others has never resulted in great successes…

Jobs’ insight was that you can never connect emotionally, meaningfully with customers by conceiving great marketing… no segmenting, strategy, technology, psychological… insight delivers a great brand… But, in fact, you must deliver a ‘great business’. The brand will be the words, emotions people use to narrate it… Jobs focused on the ‘cart’, yet even today, most marketers confuse it for the ‘horse’…

According to Drypen; branding takes place in minds of customers not in the real world. And whatever the mind perceives to be true is true. You may object but that’s the way it is: Perception is reality… No body likes Schizophrenic brands. That’s why the brand must be absolutely consistent in how it behaves, delivers… If it’s erratic, customers will be confused and will move to opposite camps… To build strong brands, businesses must provide a reason for its existence, and justify why it deserves to live…

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In the article Rules for Branding in New World by john k. grace writes: There is a basic shift in culture… a ‘new world’ is emerging in brand strategy for building relationships– with customers, employees, media, financial community, and other important audiences… Corporations have become places where employees are uncertain about messages from leadership– knowing that there is different agenda than their words often indicate…

In traditional times, two things can occur: First, brands tended to amplify and exaggerate the ‘brand promise’– in order to have their voices heard above the crowd. This amplification of claims are often filled with over-promise, which can become unbelievable to customer audiences… Second, brand marketers become insecure about their strategy and begin making random promises wishing that some will resonate with someone, somewhere…

These sit of the pants actions creates an atmosphere of uncertainty, wariness… For success in the ‘new world’, the rules for branding must be shaped in new ways: These new rules are ‘filters’ used to create, evaluate… brand communications, behaviors…  Here are a few rules for consideration:

  • Rule 1: Value must be communicated… Today, customers have much larger magnifying glass to evaluate price/value comparisons and they will find it hard to justify purchase without a very strong reason– why. So value becomes a very important filter…
  • Rule 2: Functional performance is more important than ‘benefits’... Each are looking for more communication about the functional value that brands bring to them…
  • Rule 3: Transparency, honesty are mandatory. There are two aspects to transparency – being transparent, communicating transparency… Questions; a) is the company/brand being transparent? b) how is the transparency communicated? This is a new filter for many companies…
  • Rule 4: Messaging must be simple, clear… brands must shed multiple claims, over-promises, implied benefits… and bring a new simplicity and clarity to messaging. It means creating new filters to evaluate messaging, and developing communications strategies to isolate what is important and what can be shed…
  • Rule 5: Express confidence, optimism through identity. An identity is visual expression of a brand, it should reflect a company’s core beliefs and strengths, and also signal an optimistic and positive attitude…
  • Rule 6: Communities are critical to brand acceptance. The evolving shift from top-down to bottoms-up brand influence is being further accelerated. ‘Communities’ have become the place where we can find– information, validation, security, new types of partnerships… social networks are part of larger concept of the integration for specific audiences to– bond, evaluate, determine, share…
  • Rule 7: Customer service can be a brand-defining attribute. Successful brands embrace the importance of this interaction… think about building world-class customer service rather than adequate, competitive levels of service…

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In the article Building Brands from Inside by Michael Dunn and Scott Davis write: There’s a trend in the making: Companies across the board are beginning to take a broader view of ‘branding’ as it shifts from its traditional role, as part of the marketing function, to play an integral part in the overall business strategy. To fully integrate brand strategy throughout the organization, companies must take a hard look at what the brand stands for and put internal structures in place to deliver on ‘brand promise’…

Essentially, this means moving the brand’s role, influence… well beyond the marketing department so it becomes an integral part of  company’s way of doing business… Total alignment between business and brand strategy is a crucial starting point… Think about it: Strategies about customers, distribution, pricing, communications… are crucial links between business and brand strategy. Business strategy cannot be developed in a vacuum; neither can brand strategy. The connection between them must be aligned, strengthened…

In today’s increasingly competitive environment, businesses need to find a way to stand-out from the rest of the pack… One sure way is to take a hard look at the brand, what it stands for, and then make sure that the structure is in place to deliver-on that ‘promise’– across entire organization… This realignment pays-off, big time, by creating a stronger brand but, more important, a stronger business…

In the article New Rules for Branding by kordell writes: The biggest enemy of business these days is being ‘average’… With mass customization, free information, and a tight economy, you must drive the branding image to be ‘exceptional’… Here are a few new rules for exceptional branding are:

  • It must have a plot or a storyline: Think Disney… Chipotle has it’s brown bags with stories on them… Harley is about terrorizing small towns…
  • It must be unique to stand out: Unless you have a BHAC (Big Hairy Audacious Concept) you have– beige, average, pedestrian…
  • It must fill a need or create a new mind-set for the customer:  Columbus fought the flat world with a round world idea… Dyson killed the vacuum bag…
  • Rabid fans must be able to ‘join’: Think Blue Man Group…  These fans will experience the brand again, again… and ‘tell others about it’…
  • Repeatable: There are Harley fans who motorcycle between locations just to get a ‘local’ Harley shirt… Another way to see this consumable– or– such a great experience that you just-want-to-do-it-again!
  • Once it’s in place it’s either re-created, destroyed, rebuilt (isn’t that the same thing?):  Just when the McMuffin is copied by everyone else, you have to recreate it in a new format/recipe…

In the article New Rules of Branding by Simon Williams writes: A few simple rules for the new age branding; Brands that influence ‘culture’ sell more; culture is the new catalyst for growth… A brand with no point of view has no point; full-flavor branding is in… vanilla is out… Today’s consumer is leading from the front; it’s a smart generation… Customize wherever, whenever you can; customization is tomorrow’s killer whale. Forget transaction, just give me an experience; the mandate is simple: Wow the customer every day, every way...

Deliver clarity at point of purchase; be obsessive about value… You are only as good as the weakest link; know where you’re vulnerable… Social responsibility is no longer an option; know the cause, prepare your contribution… Pulse, pace, passion… really make a difference… Innovation is the new boardroom favorite…

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Branding is the core of any business… According to Ananth; Be very clear on what you tend to achieve from your ‘branding’ campaign… Clearly define ‘goals’: What must the  ‘brand’ achieve, across which audience… Websites don’t define a branding strategy… Success of a branding campaign depends on the sincerity with which your content reaches across a larger audience, regularly, with clear intention to add real-value to the end users.

Branding is not one time process, its a constant effort to make a positive difference… It’s solution to problems– do it with a ‘face’– ‘humanize’ the brand… According to Kevin Lane Keller; a strong brand is a promise to customers and a means to set expectations and reduce risk… the power of a brand resides in the minds of its customers and it could go away very quickly…

A strong brand is also more than consumer-facing… it gives direction and purpose to its employees– strong brand is one of a firm’s most valuable intangible assets… According to Ashley I; churn out boring, repetitive stuff… and the brand will suffer… Modern brands must allow for– leeway, fun, surprise, playful… even flirtation… A contemporary brand must take leaps of faith, abandon self-obsessions, be flexible, embrace risk … Without such grounding, a brand loses what it’s supposed to be in the first place; a shape-shifter…

According to Jakk; perfecting a branding strategy is more than just having– a logo, attractive slogans… Today, enthusiasts play by a fresh set of guidelines…The fresh rules for business branding are now focused on engagement, interaction, less on presentation… Defining the brand is more like a journey of business discovery… in today’s highly competitive marketplace, a strong brand is really all about relationships, trust, value…