Brand marketing, or branding, and product marketing, or advertising, go hand in hand. You need advertising to create a brand, and you cannot have a brand without advertising. At the brand level, it’s about the big picture for the company, the end goal should drive all activity.
Nike didn’t start by saying, “We’re going to be just a great shoe company.” They had the goal of being the most influential and dominant brand in all of sports. The marketing built the personality of the brand — the attitude. All great brands have that in common. A true brand personality that aligns with their products.
I always tell my customers that if their business was a person, describe who you want them to be, to look like, to speak like, etc. Humanizing brands is how we connect with people; how we attract brand loyalists. Apple used to mean something profound with Steve Jobs leading it. In my opinion, the true innovation has stopped for them. Point being, they’re a perfect case study for how to change the persona of a brand, and not for the better.
Here are my 5 Strategies a company can do to upgrade and re-energize their brand & image:
1. Start with a candid assessment of where your business is. Not just the brand, your products or services, your customers, your growth. Where are you?
2. Now, where do you want to be? Is that important to others? I cannot stress enough that having a thought-through strategy with key points you can attain means everything.
3. Are you better or different than others in your category? Why? What leverage can we create to set you apart? It doesn’t need to be much, it just needs to be focused and valuable to people. Many brands were built on a single advantage or benefit. The more you have to talk, the less people hear. Say one thing, say it well, and say it with passion and often. Too often, companies jump immediately to tactics, like a new logo, website, advertising and give little consideration of the final destination.
4. From there, the tactics naturally fall out. Excellence in thinking is just as important as excellence in execution. What if an army general said “Guys, we’re going to go over there tomorrow and beat the hell out of the enemy! Let’s go!” Versus, “Guys, we each have critical roles in defeating the enemy. Here’s my plan and how we’ll execute the mission to take them off guard and win.” I’ll go with general number 2.
5. Spend your money wisely. Comes down to the tactics — excellence and execution. This is where many fall short. Pick one thing and do it right.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
David Farmer is the CEO of Ad Giants. He can be reached at (616) 834-4562.