There’s a great post on Forbes.com today about Branding “Why A Brand Matters” that discusses the nuances of brand and I think highlights the significance that branding will play in competitive markets through the next decade.
Author Lois Geller notes in her article that “when you think about your brand, think about all the elements: promise, personality, look, voice, service, attributes, memorability, even patina. There’s a good chance that if you ask customers, prospects and competitors about it, you’ll be surprised at how strong your brand actually is. It’s shorthand for what you are.”
This is why it is so difficult to help c-suite leaders that brand isn’t SOMETHING you do – its EVERYTHING you do. Brand conversations are often full of a lot of fluffy, soft, grey language that makes a brand seem ethereal and frankly – mushy. A huge part of these conversations has to be education and demonstrating the value, and as best as possible the ROI of strong branding. As branding/marketing/communications folks – we need better metrics on the value of brand – but we know if you dont have a strong brand you can’t compete and it will work against you frankly.
I have been tremendously fortunate to have worked with some amazing brand strategists, not the least of which is my current brand sherpa – Lee Jacobson, a brilliant Toronto based consultant. Lee consistently feeds me gems about Brand and what it is, what it isn’t but works with the following definition: