Tag Archives: consulting

Your Brand. Your Vision.

Who is in control of your brand? You?

After you spend years developing your product – an ice cream brand, for example – and struggle with all of its aspects, its flavors, its look, and its packaging, agonizing over all the details to make it just right, making sure it reflects your values and your personality, the next step would be to get the word out. So you hand it over to the nefarious brothers, Big Marketing and Big Advertising.

They will know what to do, right?

Wrong. But this is what most people end up doing. The Big Brothers look at your product as a money-spinner. They will want to decide who should buy it, where it should be sold, what the price will be, what the messages will say, and even what the thing should look like. The Big Brothers have satchels full of graphs and diagrams and funnels and focus groups and surveys and dozens of freshly baked pie charts. The Brothers Big, Marketing and Advertising, want you to know that only THEY know how your brand can be brought before the consumer public.

And it will be expensive, to be sure. But, say the Brothers, you must listen to us.

Suddenly your lovely ice cream brand, the one which you have been dreaming of since your early youth, the one that want the world to love as much as you do, has become a washing powder. Or a toothpaste. It could sell hand over fist. You could be the New Ice Cream Tycoon. But it will no longer be your brand.

Control over your brand should remain precisely where it was born – in your hands, in your heart, and in your mind. A brand is as much about art as is it is about economics. Branding is an experience of creative discovery, where innovation and ideas meet strong emotions. A strong brand is an expression of deep feelings, of character, and of desire. It is not a commodity to be traded impersonally on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange along side orange concentrate and pork bellies.

Before you hand over your brand, you must first
make sure that you have established it fully.

A brand has stories and a visual identity. It has as much personality as a good friend and inspires the same kind of loyalty. The fact is if YOU do not create your brand, the Big Brothers will.

Big Marketing and Advertising will not see your brand sold exclusively on rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré. They will see it on Main Street and State Street and in every shop and convenience store. They will see it in such a way that it translates into instant cash, with big flashing letters and bright colors!

worst-ice-cream-supermarketIt is not their fault – that is why they exist. And they do a lot of good for lesser brands, products and services conceived as a means to generate money. Many people are in business for this very reason. A washing powder needs to be trusted to get blood and ketchup out of your son’s baseball uniform, not to be the stuff of dreams. Proctor and Gamble was established for this. Henkel lives for it. Your ice cream brand, however, probably should have a different destiny.

The destiny of your brand will also be to make money and become profitable, of course. But it should do so on its own terms and in accord with its true identity. And if the Big Brothers want to speed past this, it does not mean you must surrender. On the contrary, you can nurture your brand to its full potential and self-expression by turning to a branding agency first. A good branding agency works with you and your brand to ensure its destiny.

Working with brand developers and professionals is a means to evoke all of the qualities about which YOU have dreamed in creating your brand. Writing the stories of your brand is part of it, creating the mosaic of its life and meaning. Once you have brought your brand into being and fully expressed its purpose, identity, and character, then the Big Brothers can help – they will not have fill in any blanks from their more mercantile imaginations.

Your brand is your dream and your vision. Be true to it before others try to take it over.

Smoke, Mirrors, and Experiential Branding

Can everyone please get real?

It seems you cannot read any article about branding these days without someone saying that experiential branding is the Next Big Thing. That only experiential branding will appeal to the elusive Millennials. That it is experiential branding that allows a consumer to remember the brand better and more fondly than “traditional” branding.

Traditional branding?

The misnomer in all of this is the word experiential. The fact is that ALL branding – if it is done properly – has the end goal of engaging the consumer on an emotional level. If we do not care about the brand, then any kind of experience is out of the question.

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Is China Ready To Build Global Brands? | Branding Strategy Insider

Brands in China Series

David Aaker thinks that it will be decades before Chinese companies are ready to develop strong brands capable of competing on the global stage. While I do not agree with his blanket assessment, I can personally vouch for one of the reasons he cites for his point of view. Unless senior managers at Chinese companies value the power of branding, then investment in brand and advertising will likely be wasted.

Source: Is China Ready To Build Global Brands? | Branding Strategy Insider

Forgiveness and Brands

I require my toaster to make toast.

If my toaster frequently burns the toast, I will replace it without thinking too much.  I have a strictly functional relationship with it. Does it do the job it is supposed to? If it is made by Westinghouse, Tefal, KitchenAid, or any other known brand is of much less consequence than its function. This is especially true if I buy one which calls itself “the best”. I will switch it out. No regrets, no forgiveness.

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Famous: Building a Powerful Personal Brand

A glittering star dressed to look undressed and singing someone else’s songs may become a YouTube or Vine sensation overnight. She may go viral. She may have a million views and a million followers. But is she famous?

Yes. But.

The kind of fame that is useful in personal branding is the kind that endures. It is not about getting people to look but rather it is about engaging a very wide audience consistently. Woody Allen is famous for a lot of things, but the main reason is that he has consistently delivered quality films for nearly 50 years. He gained attention early because of his talent and (it must be said) hard work. Woody Allen’s goal was not to become famous – he wanted to make films.

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