Thursday, July 15, 2010

Branding Is Dead?

I read recently on a competitor’s web site where they have made the claim that branding is dead. I found that to be an interesting statement as developing brands is what I’ve been doing for the last twenty years. So I would have to take into account that perhaps the writer simply doesn’t have a good definition of branding.

To their credit, most companies don’t know what a brand really is. They think it’s their logo or their ad campaign. Or worse, their spokes person or employee that carries the most weight.

For most of us that are tied to a mission or job, it’s extremely difficult to see the forest for the trees. And such is the case with our very own brand, whatever that brand may be.

So what is a brand if it’s not a logo or a name? If you’re from Texas like me, the very word “brand” relates to the mark on a herd or ranch so it’s confusing if you use it within this context.

To define a company brand, one has to ask themselves what they are selling or providing. It’s the first step in actually defining the brand itself. When Revlon was asked what they sell, they replied make up. But is it really make up or something else that’s in that bottle? Something that when applied or used, will make the customer feel better about themselves. In short, “hope”.

I try to explain in great detail that a brand is simply a promise. The promise that you or your company makes to the customer. It’s a very intangible thing that simply can’t be seen by a logo. It’s in everything that you do and say to service your client or customer and serves as the very essence of your personality. Your brand personality.

This personality is something we creatives fuel off of in developing ad campaigns. And if executed correctly while pulling from the brand, will bring in great returns from good solid work.

So to say branding is dead is simply not true. As to say it would mean that the human spirit is dead and we could all go back to wearing animal hides and living in caves. And I’m not sure my wife would like that very much. Although I look awesome in buck skin.

1 comment:

  1. Great stuff Edwin! I was meeting with my client last month on this very subject - won't say I was giving the advice, but we were both getting great advice on branding.
    Heard the analogy that when you tell people what you do (or what your product is), they put it in a "slot" in their brains. One important step is to talk about yourself in such a way that people can't put it in a slot - so they will keep listening!