Posts in ‘Branding’

Branding With or Without YouThis is in continuation to my branding series that was published from October 1 – October 8. Here is a quick recap of the earlier posts, in case you would like to go back and take a look for the sake of continuity:

  1. Branding – What’s the point?
  2. Branding – What’s your brand promise?
  3. Branding – Branding is a balancing act
  4. Branding – Consistency, Consistency, Consistency
  5. Branding – Don’t get caught in the hype
  6. Branding – Get the mix right

This post is the 7th in the branding series and is about your brand being created… with or without you!

Brands are dynamic.  Customers use our products and services. They like or dislike their experience and they say so, publicly.  This type of customer engagement directly impacts your brand.  In this way, your brand is being created with or without you.  You can’t control it.  What you can control is how you deal with it.

You’ve probably heard the saying “feedback is a gift”.  It’s also a gift that you can’t return or exchange if you don’t like it.  It’s yours to deal with whether you like it or not.  Since most brands have some sort of an online presence today, customers have a very public option when providing feedback.  They can leave their comments on your 1-800 customer feedback line or send their concerns to some anonymous email.  More likely, however, they will post their issues to a website, blog or user group.

When customers provide this type of public, direct feedback, we basically have two options:

1.  Engage – and hopefully influence the nature of the discussion

2.  Remain passive – and let the discussion continue without us

I encourage companies to engage in the discussion.  That’s the point of the internet, social media and online communities.  We have the capability to have these discussions in real time with many more customers than we could have ever have done in the past.

Yet, there are hundreds of examples where companies have had negative comments appear online about their products and they chose not to engage, or even acknowledge, the feedback.

In most cases this sort of “head in the sand” approach doesn’t work out very well for the companies involved.  They appear aloof, disconnected and uncaring.  Customers post comments on corporate blogs and social media sites, and the damage is done.  Companies then spend a ton of money and time trying to “manage their online reputation” – which usually means feeding good content into these sites in order to push the negative stuff off the first few pages of search results.

While this may work in some cases, it seems to be that it is a lot more effective, not to mention efficient, to just engage in the conversation to begin with!  Here are some ideas to help you proactively manage your brand online:

  • Pay attention:  Create Google alerts for your company name, brand names, etc.  Monitor where you brand is being mentioned and in what context.  It’s next to impossible to influence how the brand is being represented if you don’t know where you’re being mentioned.
  • Be active:  Identify the key places where your brand is being mentioned and get involved.  Participate in discussions relevant to your brand but not where you are directly mentioned.  You will get insights into the tone of the conversations and understand more how to position your brand appropriately.
  • Acknowledge feedback:  When someone posts something negative, acknowledge their issue.  Let them know you heard what they were saying.  Explain your response, but don’t try and justify your position, as you will only serve to annoy them further.

Your brand is being created. Its up to you how big a part you play in it… to make it look like the way you want it to be!

Laura Lowell PicThis article is contributed by Laura Lowell, Author of the Amazon bestseller ’42 Rules of Marketing’ and the upcoming ‘42 Rules to Build Your Brand and Your Business’. You can follow her on twitter at @42_rules.
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Dangerous Ground – Doing “It” Yourself

by Thomas Frasher on October 30, 2009

This weeks article addresses the strong desire for people to fall into the trap of “I didn’t invent it, it’s not as good as it could be” or “Not Invented Here”.

Both of these attitudes usually have some merit and at the same time are usually flawed.

In an earlier article on when good enough is good enough, I made the point that at some point you have to stop development and ship the product or service, before that you have no knowledge of the viability of your product or service. You have to ship/deploy and get feedback from your marketplace, before that you are guessing.

Proof of your accomplishment is after shipment/deployment.

To that end we must as business owners be aware of the landscape surrounding our businesses, our competition, our customers, and our own needs, and what help is available to us at little or no investment. So the question “do I need to do it all from scratch?” is posed here. What parts can you get elsewhere and will it help you to do that?

For example, Matthew Lesko has made a big business out of publishing a series of books on government available loans, grants and funding, and if it works for you, the cost is very low.

There are professional societies for every profession that are a great source of help and ideas. Surprising though it may seem, you can even get help from your competition.

For the technology crowd there is slashdot and sourceforge; for the science minded products and services there is the IEEE with societies for nearly anything you can imagine and Symetry for the more scientifically minded. I would encourage your to sign up for one or more of these, at least take a look to see what’s there and if it is usable.

All of that said, there are countless places to find help in the marketplace, and as I’ve said in nearly every article I’ve written: in business you need help, and not just any help, you need the best help you can get, and help will cost you, the best help costs a lot.

So take a look around you both physically and in your marketplace and find your help, it may be surprising where you find it. Watch out for the “Not Invented Here” trap in yourself and your employees, it can raise your costs and lengthen your delivery times and thwart your chances of success.

Thomas_Frasher This article was contributed by Thomas Frasher, co-founder of Active Garage. You can follow Thomas on Twitter at tfrasher.
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Securing brand equity in Recession

by Deepika Bajaj on October 26, 2009

Girl ListeningWe all understand that customer is a priced asset. And most companies have tried to listen to the customer for forging innovation. The only caveat to this is – that how we have listened to the customer in the past is irrelevant now. There is new phenomenon that is emerging with social media. Pushing out “listening to them” campaigns alone is just not going to cut it. You need to adapt to the new skills to listen actively… and in doing so, you need to give up the old ways – because only the adaptive survive in the marketplace.

It is the recession that tests your listening skills. Many companies have suffered because they were not competent in listening to their customers – e.g GM, Linen N Things, Circuit City etc.

Here are some ways you can listen

1.   Engage in a continual dialogue:   A company needs to keep engaged through company’s own Web portals, blogs and experts’ blogs.  The rising chorus of social network users (4 out 5 US adults online interacted with a social site in ‘09 – Forrester) continue to up the expectation for brands and companies with respect to presence and interaction online. The 24×7 consumer and social technologies have enabled new-media users with an ongoing interaction cycle that necessitates attention from brands.

2.   React quickly. A new study that was just released from Cone reports claimed that among new-media users, a staggering 78% of them interact with companies or brands via new media sites and tools — up from 59% the year before… and that these users are conversing with brands more often: 37% say they interact at least once a week — which is up from one in four when Cone did the study last year. There are huge quantities of information and opinion people distribute on the internet. You need to be able to collect and process this information and respond quickly to any feedback or misaligned information that could potentially hurt your brand.

3.   Cut through the clutter: Segmentation and being knowledgeable about your target customer helps you understand exactly ‘who your customer is’. Their psychographic and demographic profiles can help you determine how to listen to them. Acknowledge the importance of cutting through the clutter to reach overloaded consumers.

Securing brand equity in the recession requires companies to add resources and capital to innovation and communication. This downturn will accelerate efforts of agile and smart companies to listen to consumers’ needs to keep their brands from slipping.

DD-new-pic-headshot Contributed by Deepika Bajaj, President and Founder, Invincibelle, LLC and co-founder, ActiveGarage (the company behind 99tribes). Deepika is also the author of the book DiversityTweet: Embracing the growing diversity in our world and Pink and Grow Rich:11 Unreasonable Rules for Success You can follow Deepika on Twitter at invincibelle
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IP Strategy – Part II

by Thomas Frasher on October 16, 2009

IP Strategy Part IIIn the last article we discussed the need to create a cohesive IP strategy, in this article I’ll discuss the first step in creating your strategy.
Like every article I’ve written on this topic, I’ll remind you that you need help, and you need the best help you can get.

Strategy Creation:
A few guidelines to help things along:
1. Be clear on why you are creating an IP strategy. All reasons are valid, some will work better than others. For example: if your goal in creating an IP strategy is to to tell all of your friends how many patents you have; you may want to think a bit more deeply about what you will do with those assets (make no mistake they are assets if treated right) and how much you are planning on spending to create them. On the other hand if you plan to exploit what you have invented, create a new business, and bring new products to the marketplace, then you are thinking in the right direction for strategy development.
2. Determine the direction you want your IP portfolio to grow into, find your market landscape. For instance; if you are making wire coat hangers and you suddenly come up with a new idea to make them cheaper, faster or in some other way better for the same cost, that’s a great invention in your current market landscape. If, on the other hand you make coat hangers and you come up with a great new telescope design, you may want to think about the new invention within the direction of your market landscape and the way you prosecute that innovation in the marketplace. Is it a different marketplace? The direction component of your strategy helps to keep costs under control. Costs can include nearly everything you can think of, from time spent thinking about the innovation, to the actual patent write up and filing fees, and everything in between.
3. Determine what areas you are NOT going to explore, such as a wire coat hanger manufacturer working on auto parts cleaning machines. It doesn’t matter what limits you put in place but you must at least think about them, and draw limits that suit your situation and remember they are your limits, you can change them any time you wish.
4. Determine when you will start, never when you will stop, and start. Create consequences for not starting, and rewards for getting going. Innovation should never stop, it must be continuous if you are to be successful in the long term.
This all sounds like a lot of work and, that said, it’s not a trivial task. However, as humans, we are what we practice, and our practices define us. Therefore you need to develop a practice of creativity, and a practice of managing your strategy.

So, having read all the above; It’s time to get moving!

Thomas_Frasher This article was contributed by Thomas Frasher, co-founder of Active Garage. You can follow Thomas on Twitter at tfrasher.
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The NEW World!

by Deepika Bajaj on October 13, 2009

Our world has been continually evolving. With the advent of globalization, technology and internet, we are now embarking on the phenomenal growth of the virtual worlds. So, what are Virtual Worlds? Virtual world is a real-time, multi-player 3D environments in which the user takes on a specific role, represented on screen by an avatar. Obvious example is SecondLife. People who live in virtual worlds can buy homes, go shopping and play games with friends – this is the social networking element of it. With the current economic recession, companies are finding it cost-effective to hold meetings, recruit candidates and do promotions in virtual worlds. Offline events require hotel, travel costs and lost time in productivity – so why not meet your potential clients, employees and colleagues virtually  – Afterall they exist both in the real and virtual world.

Here is a brief intro of a what is a virtual world?

Where is the MONEY??

Virtual worlds reshape the real-life Retail:
With the rise in Virtual world, many small businesses are using it to interact with their customers. Many businesses are marketing their products and services in virtual worlds – you can hold events, do strategic placements for audience development and building relationships with their customers:

Where is my LOVE?
Virtual worlds are all about experience and community.
Want a cool girlfriend? Who needs a real deal? She is exactly what you want and is gone when you log off.

Our world has expanded – it has multiple dimensions….ARE you present Virtually?


DD-new-pic-headshot Contributed by Deepika Bajaj, President and Founder, Invincibelle, LLC and co-founder, ActiveGarage (the company behind 99tribes). Deepika is also the author of the book DiversityTweet: Embracing the growing diversity in our world and Pink and Grow Rich:11 Unreasonable Rules for Success You can follow Deepika on Twitter at invincibelle
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Branding – Get the mix right!

by Laura Lowell on October 8, 2009

get the mix rightConstructing the optimal mix is part art and part science.  The art lies in understanding the nuances between the different marketing vehicles, how to craft copy tailored to the marketing vehicle, and how to combine copy with creative for the optimal impact. The science lies in the measurement and tracking of the effectiveness of various vehicles at delivering your message to the target audience in the context of the stated communications objectives.

There are two pieces of information that directly inform how we create the marketing mix.

  1. How does our target customer gather information? : Who do they go to for recommendations?  Do they search online or do they ask for suggestions from colleagues, friends or family?  Who influences the purchasing process?  Answers to these questions help us to target the influencers as well as the target customers.
  2. How does our target customer want to receive information? : Do they want a lot of detail but not very often?  Do they prefer to get more frequent information with less detail?  Do they like phone, email or old-fashioned paper and envelopes?  Again, this information will directly impact the types of marketing vehicles we invest in.

Marketing vehicles have a defined purpose and should be used according to the stated communication objectives.  The following is a summary of the primary marketing vehicles, definitions, purpose described in terms of awareness, demand generation or lead conversion, and examples of each.  This is not an exhaustive list, but is a great start.

Awareness:  Ensure that customers know you exist – eyes and ears

Demand Generation:  Attracting customers to your products/services – call, click or visit

Lead Conversion:  Converting prospects to revenue – customers

Marketing Vehicle Definition Purpose Examples
Advertising Mass communications that broaden perceptions. Awareness

Lead Generation

Broadcast (TV, radio), Print  (newspaper, magazine), Online (banner ads, site ads)
Collateral &  Sales Tools Material describing a product, service, or solution used to support sales and marketing efforts. Demand Generation Brochure, card/flyer, catalog, cover letter, envelope, datasheet, folder, binder, video, presentation, promotional item, poster, banner, magazine, newsletter, competitive brief, instant reference guide, order and configuration guide.
Customer Testimonials Customer endorsements illustrating the impact of the company product, service or solution. Demand Generation

Lead Conversion

Quotes, case studies, success stories, references, speaking engagements.
Direct Marketing A method of contacting individual customers directly and obtaining their responses. Lead Conversion Direct mail, telemarketing, addressable media.
Event An in-person or online occurrence designed to increase awareness, accelerate sales, and build relationships. Awareness Tradeshow, road show, seminar, conference, hospitality, executive briefing, webinar, online seminar.
Incentives Providing equipment, discount or rebates to entice customers to try and/or purchase products, services or solutions. Lead Conversion Demo equipment, evaluation and trade-in, free sample or trial, mail-in or instant rebate or gift with purchase.
Internal Communications Use of any marketing vehicle to keep employees informed. Awareness Broadcast/webcast, leadership meetings, internal websites, newsletters, webinars, etc.
Internet Marketing The use of the internet to promote, advertise and sell goods and services. Awareness

Demand Generation

Lead Conversion

Websites, pay-per-click advertising, banners, e-mail marketing, search engine marketing, search engine optimization, blogs, webcasts, podcasts.
Co-Marketing Funds and tools provided to partners to enable them to execute specific marketing strategies and tactics on behalf of the company. Awareness

Demand Generation

Affinity marketing, affiliate marketing, lead generation, co-op marketing, channel incentives, partner compensation (SPIF)
Market Research Research undertaken with the purpose on increasing understanding of markets, customers, competition, design and positioning of products, services, or solutions. Demand Generation Primary, secondary, syndicated, campaign testing, ad testing, competitive benchmarking.
Merchandising Materials created and displayed in retail locations for the purpose of affecting product selection and purchase. Lead Conversion Brochure, demo, samples, lugon, highlighter, posters, banners, rebate, selection guides, tear pads.
Packaging The physical material used to contain product including materials on-box or in-box designed to improve the customer experience. Lead Conversion Physical packages, inserts, literature, software, stickers, illustrations, installation guides, user manuals.
Public Relations Activities that focus on industry influencers to establish the public image of the company and its products, services or solutions. Awareness

Demand Generation

Press releases, endorsements, article placement, interviews, news conference, press tour, press kits, media briefings, product reviews, 3rd party releases, speaker’s bureau, white paper placement.
Viral Marketing Activities that use pre-existing social networks to produce increases in brand awareness, through self-replicating viral processes, analogous to the spread of pathological and computer viruses. Awareness

Demand Generation

Word-of-mouth with online enhancements, blogs, audio and/or video clips, flash, games, advergames, etc.

Laura Lowell PicThis article is contributed by Laura Lowell, Author of the Amazon bestseller ’42 Rules of Marketing’ and the upcoming ‘42 Rules to Build Your Brand and Your Business’. You can follow her on twitter at @42_rules.
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Branding – Don’t get caught in the hype!

by Laura Lowell on October 7, 2009

hypeSo…you have an exciting strategy; your messages are relevant and consistently integrated throughout your brand and all customer touch points.  Now you need an actionable marketing plan that delivers your message to your customers in ways that will increase the chance that they will pay attention, and ultimately buy whatever it is that you’re selling.

There is a lot of talk about the latest new trend (Twitter, vlogs or who-knows-what’s-next) and the coolest new technology.  However, these things are only useful if they are being used by your target customers.  This point bears repeating…these things are only useful if they are being used by your target customers.  This is the kind of thing that sounds so simple – it is common sense.  Unfortunately, it isn’t commonly practiced.

It is critical to the success of your brand that you identify customer-preferred communication vehicles and prioritize those above things that are “really hot” at the moment.  While they may be the latest fad, they might not generate the results you want.

Different marketing tools are good at doing different things – think screwdrivers and hammers.  This is, again, why it is so important to know what your goals and objectives are so that you can select the right tools for the job.  The right balance between online and offline marketing vehicles ensures that you are reaching your target customers in a variety of ways which will improve your overall results – whether they are to increase awareness or to generate demand.

For example, if you are a start-up just launching your company, you need to generate awareness that you exist. PR is a very cost-effective tool to do this.  You also need a website to explain what the company does.  To get the ball rolling you might launch an email and/or direct mail campaign with an introductory offer so that customers connect their business problem with your company.  If you are a small company trying to generate demand, a combination of webinars and SEO with speaking engagements and telemarketing could prove to be very effective at generating quality leads.  It is important to focus on the quality of the lead rather than the volume generated as the conversion rates tend to be much higher.

It is easy to get excited about the latest technology and cool marketing techniques.  Be careful, and remember that the end result is to achieve the business objectives – which is typically to sell more of your stuff.  This means you don’t need to do everything, but you need to strategically select a few key vehicles and do them exceptionally well.

Online and Offline Tactics for Lead Generation:  Ranked as % Very Effective at generating Quality Leads

Online Tactics for Lead Generation

%

Offline  Tactics for Lead Generation

%

Webinars

45

Speaking engagements at trade events

49

Searh engine optimization

44

Telemarketing for lead qualification

46

Paid search ads

34

In-person seminars/roadshows

44

Solo emails to house list

29

PR

35

White paper syndication service

28

Telemarketing for lead generation (cold       calling)

28

Online ads (industry specific)

20

Winning/publicizing awards

24

Offers in your email newsletter

18

Trade shows booths/marketing

24

Offers in 3rd party newsletters

13

Print newsletters

18

Online Ads (general business sites)

12

Direct (postal) mail

16

Solo emails to 3rd party lists

9

Print ads (industry specific)

11

TV and/or radio ads

8

Print ads (general business)

5

Source:  Business Technology Marketing Benchmark Guide 2006, MarketingSherpa, 2006

Laura Lowell PicThis article is contributed by Laura Lowell, Author of the Amazon bestseller ’42 Rules of Marketing’ and the upcoming ‘42 Rules to Build Your Brand and Your Business’. You can follow her on twitter at @42_rules.
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Branding – Consistency, Consistency, Consistency

by Laura Lowell on October 6, 2009

brand consistencyJust as in the world of Real Estate it is all about “location, location, location”; in the world of marketing it is all about “consistency, consistency, consistency”.

In conjunction with a sound brand strategy, you need a clear and concise message that resonates with your customers. These messages need to be integrated across your brand and into every customer touch point.  Now, you don’t need to use the same words over and over. However, each communication needs to reinforce the key messages that have been developed to support the brand.  It is a case where the whole is greater than the sum of the parts – when the brand is consistently conveyed across multiple touch points, the customer is left with a clear understanding of what the company, product, service, or solution is and how it solves their problem. Simply put, they know what your brand is about.

Unfortunately, as marketers we often get bored with the messages we’ve developed.  We’ve spent hours fine-tuning them and testing them.  Finally, our campaigns launch and the messages are out there, but by that time they feel old and stale to us.  There is a difference between a “fresh” message (with unique language, a clever play on words, a connection to a current event) and a “different” message (not aligned with strategy, not related to existing messages, different for the sake of being different).  Research shows that it takes anywhere from five to nine impressions for an individual to actually internalize a marketing message.  That means they need to see it over and over again.  Not the same words, but the same idea supported by the same brand.

For example, an article in a trade publication mentions the company and their new product; the customer sees an online banner ad, they click on it, and get to a landing page with a compelling offer; they do a Google search to see what else comes up and there is a link to your latest white paper; at an industry tradeshow the company has a booth and is hosting a panel discussion…and the story continues.  With consistent use of key messages across multiple touch-points your customers comes away with the sense that your company is worth their consideration.

Now you have a place to start engaging and driving purchase decisions.  This model holds true for consumer and business marketing.  People are people, whether they are buying high-end mission-critical software or a new plasma HDTV for their living room.  They have a problem.  Through your consistent messages, you have convinced them to consider your product or service as they evaluate their options.  You still have to convince them that your product or solution is really the only one that really addresses all their needs – from technical specifications to user support, maintenance and financing (again, these apply to consumer and business purchases.)

Again, consistency is key.  Your customers need to see and feel that your company is honest and trustworthy.  If there is a disconnect between what you say and what they experience, you will lose the sale, and worse, probably the customer.  So, while consistency in messaging is important…consistency in execution is critical, too.  Both pieces of this puzzle need to be addressed in order for the whole thing to work.  If you only focus on the messaging, then your experience will fall flat.  If you don’t explain your differences and benefits, then you won’t get the chance to display your stellar experience.  No matter how you look at it, consistency is the key to growing you brand and your business

Laura Lowell PicThis article is contributed by Laura Lowell, Author of the Amazon bestseller ’42 Rules of Marketing’ and the upcoming ‘42 Rules to Build Your Brand and Your Business’. You can follow her on twitter at @42_rules.
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Branding – Branding is a balancing act

by Laura Lowell on October 5, 2009

balancing actAll too often companies find themselves with a brilliant strategy – on paper at least. When they try to implement the strategy, they run into obstacles such as channels, partners, technology, infrastructure, competition, or lack of resources. The reverse is also true. Companies can spend so much time executing that they lose sight of the business objective. They might end up with an awesome website, but no real results.

Effective brands, that is, brands that deliver on their promise and help companies sell more stuff, are those that find the right balance between strategy and tactics, between images and words, between effect and affect.  Every brand is made up of several different components:  visuals, messages, voice, and personality, for example.  Each of these is integrated into specific deliverables like a company logo or tagline or photographic style.  The trick is to find the right combination and then apply them consistently throughout everything you do.

It starts with strategy – how will you achieve your objectives?  Depending on your brand promise some strategies are going to be more effective than others.  For example, you probably won’t see Nascar investing in “environmentally-friendly” campaigns; you would expect it from Starbucks. There are lots of different ways to achieve your objectives.  Make sure that your strategies align with your brand promise and that you can actually implement them.  This is what I call the “duh” test.  Run the strategies by a colleague, friend or spouse and see what they think.  If they ask you a question and your reaction is “duh”…you might want to rethink the strategy.

Next come the tactics – what exactly will you do to implement the strategy?  If your strategy was to grow your market share by expanding into new markets, a tactic might be to partner with a complementary brand in the new market to jump start your brand recognition.  This might require a joint email campaign, billboards and local ads on radio and TV.  The key is to align the tactics with the strategy so that everything is in support of the brand.  Otherwise, you end with a lot of random activities – all of them are probably pretty cool on their own – but together they don’t deliver.

To be valuable, strategy must be practical, and tactics must be integrated. With the right balance of strategy and tactics, your brand will grow and so will your business

Laura Lowell PicThis article is contributed by Laura Lowell, Author of the Amazon bestseller ’42 Rules of Marketing’ and the upcoming ‘42 Rules to Build Your Brand and Your Business’. You can follow her on twitter at @42_rules.
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Branding – What’s your brand promise?

by Laura Lowell on October 2, 2009

brand promiseIn research conducted for my upcoming book ’42 Rules to build Your Brand and Your Business’ respondents clearly indicated that what affected their perception of a brand were visibility, authenticity and honesty of the brand.  Ok, great…what does this mean to someone trying to build a business and establish their brand? Or what does it mean to a company with an established brand trying to break into a new market with little brand recognition?  You may be surprised to hear me say (or type) that it means the same thing in both situations.

Ultimately, the key is to have a defined brand promise – what is it that your brand stands for?  Based on this you can then begin to prioritize your strategies and define your tactics accordingly.  I have seen, over and over again, where companies jump into the tactics with out understanding how they fit, or don’t fit, into the bigger picture.  For example, I once worked on a brand re-design project with a major high-tech computer manufacturer.  We had a well established brand and were trying to reposition it within the confines of the overall product portfolio.  Plus, we wanted to target a new demographic audience.  Off we went to the branding agency who created several different graphic treatments.  We reviewed them and made changes and came up with what we thought was a brilliant idea – very “off the wall”, especially for this company – but the new demographic “would be drawn to it” we explained to senior management who were having heart palpitations at the very thought of it.  Picture this…a gorilla sitting on top of a PC. Something was definitely “off”, and it turned out… it was us!

This project never saw the light of day…why?  We completely forgot the established brand promise we had been making, and continued to make, to the market.  This design had nothing to do with the real world – it was graphically outstanding and visually compelling, but who cares?  It didn’t relate at all to our brand promise.

So how do you start defining your brand promise? Here’s a list of questions to ask:

  • What does the company stands for? 
  • What is the single most important thing that the organization promises to deliver to its customers?
  • How do you want customers to feel about your organization after interacting with you?
  • What is it that the organization wants its brand to be known for?
  • What unique value to you deliver to customers?

Make sure you have agreement across the company – whether it is large or small.  People should be excited about this.  They should be able to rally around this promise and use it to make appropriate business decisions.  If not, then you still have some work to do.  But, I guarantee you, it’s well worth it.

Laura Lowell PicThis article is contributed by Laura Lowell, Author of the Amazon bestseller ’42 Rules of Marketing’ and the upcoming ‘42 Rules to Build Your Brand and Your Business’. You can follow her on twitter at @42_rules.
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