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    « Great Sales Reading | Main | Branding Wisdom (Part 4) »

    July 26, 2006

    Branding Wisdom (Part 3)

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

    Your brands do not have to be descriptive.

    Too often when people are creating a brand they convince themselves that it must describe what they do. This is not the case. A brand is like a bookmark or index in people’s brain. When they see or hear the brand, the brain uses that brand like an index. It “looks up” the associated emotions and feelings. You should be more focused on creating something that is easy to index and memorable. The second part is continuing to reinforce the emotions you want your audience experience when they see it. What emotions are conjured when you hear – “Starbucks”, “Accenture”, “FedEx”, or “Walmart”? None of these brands are descriptive, but they do bring about specific emotions. In the AEC reprographics industry most companies have the words “Blueprint, Blue, Reprographics, Imaging, etc.” Though there is nothing wrong with this, it is not necessary. I would also argue that this strategy can create a less simple brand and can pigeon hole you into a space that five to ten years from now you may not want to be in. When you pick a non-descriptive extensible brand, it can grow with your business. It gives you options. You do not have to rename you business as your business grows or morphs with changing market conditions. The longer you can keep your brand, the more powerful it is, and the more likely you are to build market momentum behind it.


    Make your brand "remarkable"

    Seth Godin has done a great job of branding himself around the concept of “being remarkable”. He is an expert in branding and one the common themes in all of his literature, blog posts, and seminars is “be remarkable”. This is best illustrated in his book “The Purple Cow”. He argues that in contemporary marketing practices great ideas get watered down. Marketers are trying to hit a mass market and don’t want to be too bold. They want to be politically correct, or they just want to be polite. The problem with this is there is so much clutter out there and a watered down brand or message gets lost in the clutter. I understand that when  Comedy Central was considering the South Park television show they ran focus groups. One of the groups contained mothers of young children. Some of the women became so upset in the focus group that they were crying and were quite adamant that the show should NOT be put on the air. The producers knew they had something that was edgy and remarkable. They believed that being edgy was a good strategy, and it has worked for them. I’m not advising to do something controversial or rude, but if you are re-branding your company, be remarkable. Don’t get trapped into something that is watered down and boring. Pick a name, a tag line, or logo that gets the attention of your target audience. Build on that brand with remarkable experiences that build on your remarkable brand.


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