You don’t brand anything, you earn your brand.
Has there ever been a topic less well understood than Brands and Branding? I read about Brands all the time and am always amazed just how badly. The only term less understood is marketing – which is not the same as advertising by the way.
A brand is a simple concept. It is nothing more or less than a product, service, company, or person’s reputation, invariably it is linked to a device (logo) which becomes a mnemonic for the values the consumer associates with it.
The process of brand management is making sure that the associations people have with the brand are consistent with that reputation. So like you would manage your reputation by not getting into a position of getting arrested in a brothel, you manage your brand by making sure it is consistent. Its the same process.
You need to understand that;
- Brands exist ONLY in the minds of people (customers).
- Brands are built mostly by the experience people have of the product or service.
- Brands have an emotional and a performance component.
Brands are not the possessions of companies, they are the possessions of consumers.
In the article Branding Desperately Needs to Rebrand Itself the authors refer to the fact that branding is fast becoming a dirty word in the boardrooms of Europe. Branding has not delivered. In itself its not really surprising as marketers have attempted to do the impossible, and they said that they could, Some still believe that they can.
Branding lost its way when the marketing profession decided that they could manage perceptions. Its a delusion that you can do so to any great extent for any extended period. As Abraham Lincoln said “You may fool all the people some of the time, you can even fool some of the people all of the time, but you cannot fool all of the people all the time.” In the end the brand is formed, like any reputation, by the performance of the product or service.
Now in the connected age customers have all the bull dust filters they need and can easily access the opinions of experts and others through online networks and blogs. Now you can fool even less of the people much less of the time.
Future marketers and brand experts need to understand that as they lost control of the flow of information and that control moved into the hands of connected customers so too they lost any hope of building brands except by consistently delivering value.
It’s a huge threat to the old ways and a massive boost to customers and good marketers.
Do you agree?
In: Uncategorized · Tagged with: Advertising, Brand, Branding, Marketing