Welcome to the beginning. I know what you’re thinking. Just what the world needs…another blog.
Well, I’m hoping this one will be interesting, helpful, amusing… you pick it… at least to some of you (and goodness knows, there probably aren’t any of you reading this my maiden post, but perhaps you’ll find it in Archives). It will be dealing with a subject I grew up with all my professional marketing life….”branding” and how to use it to make powerfully effective the marketing that flows from it.
You see, it seems that for the last 30-40 years or so, marketers have started to neglect the role of “brand” in their marketing activities. Many, if not most, seem to have decided that merely wrapping an appropriate “tone” around some collection of what they feel are unique selling messages, has done the brand-thingey and they can move on to more exciting things like the latest digital or social media platforms, Pentagon-sized CRM solutions or maybe even some retro tactics like word-of-mouth campaigning, etc.
“Say it ain’t so, Joe” The problem is they are entering the marketing wars with only part of their available arsenal. All their businesses have a “brand,” but going in they limit how effectively they use of them in one or possibly all of three ways:
1. Taking their brand for granted; not even realizing how much it can help them. These are the people who say, “Yeah, I’ve got a brand, but everybody knows what it is. I need to spend my time on more important things.” This is especially a risk for SME’s that don’t have fully staffed marketing departments and agencies. Of course, the big transnational players aren’t always immune to this type of thinking either.
2. Not appreciating the full extent of a brand’s capability to connect with the target audience. By this I mean the yin and the yang of every brand…its rational side and its emotional side. It is easy to get lost in the easy-to-describe, easy-to-communicate features, benefits and promises, and forget the emotional heart and soul of a brand, the almost irrational side that customers can fall in love with.
3. Neglecting to use the wholeness of their brand, both its rational and emotional components, into all their marketing activities. Here again is where many stop with carefully crafted sales messages touting product features or advantages, or dramatic designs and executions that have impact, but no long term residual bond.
In the future as this blog progresses, I’ll come back to these thoughts, because I think they are accurate, and I think I can at least share some new (or would that be “renewed”) ideas on the subject of BRAND.