Better Understand the Brand

We’ve had a number of discussions lately with clients looking to better understand and convey their brand. Inevitably the conversations soon become a bit of a general discussion about brands, brand promises, sub-brands and the effort required to build a great brand. I remembered I had this article from Forbes on that very subject and want to share some of its highlights with you:

In one sense, perhaps the most important sense, a brand is a promise. Think of some top brands and you immediately know what they promise: McDonald’s, Coca Cola, Budweiser, Ford, Apple, MetLife. You know what you’re going to get with a well-branded product or service.

In another sense, a brand is a specific combination of logo, words, type font, design, colors, personality, price, service, etc. It’s also a bundle of attributes. Think of Volvo, for instance, and your first thoughts are probably going to be something like “well built, comfortable, Swedish” and, most of all, “safety.”

Buying a certain brand says something about the person who buys it. Apple has that. This can lead to sub-brands, like iPhone and iPad which acquire the aura of the parent brand. It takes a lot of time, money and very hard work to build and maintain great brands like that, brands that can speak volumes in just a few syllables.

If you’re going to develop your brand, the last thing you want to do is follow the beaten path. You want to head down your own road. Your brand has to plant itself in the hearts and minds (especially hearts) of prospects and customers. It also has to be memorable. Your brand is the focus of all your marketing efforts (yes, it needs to say something about your company, connect with your target market, be motivating in some way and always create loyalty). Think about all the elements: promise, personality, look, voice, service, attributes, memorability, even patina. Remember, it’s shorthand for what you are.

– Forbes

So as our conversations deepen and become more focused on the client’s brand, we look at realistic outcomes based on both near- and long-term strategies.

From Case Western Reserve University

Then we begin the hard work of defining their brand in true and meaningful terms that can be brought to life through marketing and communications in the digital and experiential space. That’s when they start to see true synergy in the marketplace and a renewed energy within their organization.

What is your brand promise?

– Frank Kurland

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