Skip to main content

Moving the brand forward initially – also known as "thriving on chaos"

The key to branding the organization is to be able to do a number of things simultaneously. It’s not going to work in a, b, c order. You can expect a bit of chaos.

For one thing, you will work on the brand SIMULTANEOUSLY with other marketing and awareness campaigns. The whole world is not going to stop and wait for you to come up with a name and a tagline. Things are dynamic. Deal with it.

For another thing, you have to start lining up your “ducks in a row.” Meaning, you have to get the strategy together. Do you have a brand touchpoint analysis done yet? In other words, do you know all the places where employees, customers and other stakeholders encounter the brand? Time to write it down and prioritize: which are the most important encounters, the ones that have to be controlled most seriously? You also need to do a situation analysis: what is the history of the brand, what is the rationale for branding today, what are all the risks and challenges associated with branding and how are you prepared to deal with them? The analysis should include all the initial actions you want to take to create brand awareness; one of those actions should be the creation of a brand council (see below for a bit more detail on this).

Third, are you settled with the name and tagline? Time to get the team brainstorming…even if the name is set in stone the tagline needs to be agreed upon. There has to be agreement within your marketing group, and then you need to radiate outward to the brand council, composed of individuals from all lines of the business, which will agree on one. Branding doesn’t work unless there is strong consensus that propels the initiative forward.

Fourth, you must get some basic background collateral together: a brand vision/mission/values poster and pocket card, a brand reference book/website for employees, and public affairs guidance (talking points) for your media group. These documents set the stage for all the other brand communication you will be doing because they set expectations not only about what the brand is, but about how it should be expressed verbally and visually.

This is only the beginning…but ideally you and your team should be getting more involved, more excited about the brand as you go along. Are you feeling it? If not, go back to the drawing board, because something is wrong.

More on this theme to follow in future posts.

Popular posts from this blog

What is the difference between brand equity and brand parity?

Brand equity is a financial calculation. It is the difference between a commodity product or service and a branded one. For example if you sell a plain orange for $.50 but a Sunkist orange for $.75 and the Sunkist orange has brand equity you can calculate it at $.25 per orange.

Brand parity exists when two different brands have a relatively equal value. The reason we call it "parity" is that the basis of their value may be different. For example, one brand may be seen as higher in quality, while the other is perceived as fashionable.

________________
All opinions my own. Originally posted to Quora. Public domain photo by hbieser via Pixabay.

What is the difference between "brand positioning," "brand mantra," and "brand tagline?"

Brand positioning statement: This is a 1–2 sentence description of what makes the brand different from its competitors (or different in its space), and compelling. Typically the positioning combines elements of the conceptual (e.g., “innovative design,” something that would be in your imagination) with the literal and physical (e.g., “the outside of the car is made of the thinnest, strongest metal on earth”). The audience for this statement is internal. It’s intended to get everybody on the same page before going out with any communication products.Brand mantra: This is a very short phrase that is used predominantly by people inside the organization, but also by those outside it, in order to understand the “essence” or the “soul” of the brand and to sell it to employees. An example would be Google’s “Don’t be evil.” You wouldn’t really see it in an ad, but you might see it mentioned or discussed in an article about the company intended to represent it to investors, influencers, etc.Br…

Nitro Cold Brew and the Oncoming Crash of Starbucks

A long time ago (January 7, 2008), the Wall Street Journal ran an article about McDonald's competing against Starbucks.
At the time the issue was that the former planned to pit its own deluxe coffees head to head with the latter.
At the time I wrote that while Starbucks could be confident in its brand-loyal consumers, the company, my personal favorite brand of all time,  "...needs to see this as a major warning signal. As I have said before, it is time to reinvent the brand — now.  "Starbucks should consider killing its own brand and resurrecting it as something even better — the ultimate, uncopyable 'third space' that is suited for the way we live now.  "There is no growth left for Starbucks as it stands anymore — it has saturated the market. It is time to do something daring, different, and better — astounding and delighting the millions (billions?) of dedicated Starbucks fans out there who are rooting for the brand to survive and succeed." Today as …