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    « Branding Wisdom | Main | Great Sales Reading »

    July 19, 2006

    Branding Wisdom (Part 2)

    Following is an elaboration on some of the practices identifed in the previous post.

    Less is more

    Your customers and prospects only have so much room in their brain to remember your brands. They are constantly bombarded with marketing clutter. It is getting more and more difficult to get people’s attention. Fewer, simpler more remarkable brands will get people’s attention. Simplicity scales. Complexity creates drag. Admittedly, PLP has a branding problem. We have PLP, PlotWorks, OpCenter, RevLine, etc.  That is a lot for people to remember. We know this is a problem and will address it.

    Choose a brand with one or two syllables

    Following the “less is more” concept above, people will naturally gravitate towards shorter brands. The fewer syllables a person needs to utter the more memorable and scalable your brand is. Furthermore if you don’t create a brand with one or two syllables there is a good chance that your customers and employees will re-brand you. At Digital Paper we had a product called Intranet Docs. Our customers almost exclusively referred to the product as “I-docs”. This created a problem for us because someone else owned the trademark on “Idocs”. Digital Paper became DP. Federal Express has FedEx. FedEx changed their legal name to match what their customers had branded them. To validate this concept think of successful brands. They will more often than not have one or two syllables. For example: FedEx, Xerox, Kleenex, HP, Starbucks, etc.

    Choose a brand that is “extensible”

    It is impossible to describe the variations of your products or services with a single two syllable word, but you want to minimize the space people need in their brain for your brands. This can be accomplished by extending your brand. An example of this is FedEx Express, FedEx Ground, FedEx Kinkos, etc. FedEx is the primary brand and Express, Ground, Kinko’s etc. are the extensions to the brand. If your customer only remembered one thing they remember the primary brand and they can look up the brand extensions.

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