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Branding Guru - Brand Identity Guru
Have you ever had a good brand experience? How about a bad brand experience? Is there a difference in your mind? How many people do you tell about a positive brand experience? How about for a poor brand experience?
One poor brand experience will not destroy a firm. One poor brand experience per day, however, can ruin a company in the long run for sure. It's really easy math. If one person receives a poor experience with a brand, they might tell 10 people. At 365 days a year that's over 4000 people per year. Yikes! Not good at all.
So, how can your employees protect your brand everyday?
It all depends on delivering your internal brand and training. Not only do you have to train employees on customer service issues but also they must know how to deal with a customer that is upset or has a problem.
Let me give you an example. I purchased some artwork on a Carnival Cruise. Upon purchase from the vendor (not from Carnival Cruise itself) I requested custom frames. The vendor, Park West took my order and informed me that it would be 6-8 weeks for delivery.
10 weeks later I called Park West. They told me it shipped. I received my artwork 3 weeks late. I was so excited and I ripped the packaging away only to find they did not put on the custom frames. I waited 10 weeks for nothing.
I called Park West immediately. Guess what? I was going to have to wait another 6-8 weeks for the correct replacement. I asked for a refund and a pick up of the incorrect artwork. They denied me and said it was a final sale.
I called my credit card company. Guess what? The charge went through my Carnival Cruise account. I called them. Guess what? They would not help me, as it's a third party vendor. This is a third party vendor that Carnival Cruise has partnered with.
Did I mention that this was my 19th Carnival Cruise?
Long story short I had to pay to ship my artwork back and my credit card company took care of me.
I will never take another Carnival Cruise again.
How could Carnival save itself from losing me as a customer? It's really quite simple. Ultimately because the charge went through Carnival they needed to take responsibility. They should have said you're a valued guest and we will credit you immediately. At that point I'm thinking wow, Carnival is even better than I thought. But instead I'm writing this article and never ever going on another cruise with them.
Carnival could have saved the brand. If they had gone the extra mile to put themselves in my shoes, I would have had a positive brand experience. I would have used Carnival again, and I would have probably told everyone I know how great there service was.Developing a proper internal brand strategy and training is the key to delivering a positive brand experience. Don't make stupid mistakes with your brand.
To measure how strong your brand is copy and paste: (http://brandidentityguru.com/bightml/brandmasterpiece.html). Then click "Take the brand strength test". This is a short survey that measures the strength of any company's brand. It's a great tool to see where you are today.
Scott White is President of Brand Identity Guru (http://www.brandidentityguru.com), a leading brand consulting and market research firm located in Easton, Massachusetts, USA, near Boston. Brand Identity Guru specializes in creating corporate and product brands that increase sales, market share, customer loyalty, and brand valuation.
Over the course of his 15-year branding career, Scott White has worked in a wide variety of industries: high-tech, manufacturing, computer hardware and software, telecommunications, banking, restaurants, fashion, healthcare, Internet, retail, and service businesses, as well as numerous non-profit organizations.
Brand Identity Guru clients include: Sun Life Financial, Coca Cola, HP, Sun, Nordstrom, American Federal Mortgage, Simon (America's largest shopping mall manager) and many others, including numerous emerging growth companies.
Scott White is a very enthusiastic speaker and has the gift of being able to explain the principles of branding in a compelling and entertaining manner so that people at all levels can understand.
Brand Strategy - Brand Identity Guru
If you could have the secret recipe and all the manufacturing facilities of Coca Cola but not the Coca Cola brand-or have its famous brand but no facilities-which would you choose? It's not a trick question. But it demonstrates the power of the brand. Walk into any bank and say "hi I'm Coca Cola, how about a loan"!
Branding has been defined, explained and examined extensively. There are books, articles, publications, seminars, and groups all dedicated to exploring the meaning and use of brand today.
Revealing the Roots: The Process of Building Brand
How is branding different than marketing?
Branding Junk Removal - He Did It, Can You?
What does it mean to be remarkable?
What is an Artists Statement & How Often Should It Be Updated?
An artist's statement is a statement of ideas and thoughts that describe your philosophy, vision, and passion towards your artistic creations.
Mascots ? The Killer Promotional Concept
Mascots are the unique dolls or puppets that help identify a sports team or a company. These carry the unique property of "Stickiness". Your great customer support and product quality sticks only so long. You got to remind folks often that you are there alive and well waiting for the next business transaction. The cheapest and effective way is creating and promoting a mascot for your company. Television Ads could have this mascot as the central theme or as an add-on. These typically tend to stick to the audience than your product or company name. This is both good and bad; a good mascot tends to make the customers take ownership of the mascot. Meaning they like to display and talk about it to others, a copycat cheap mascot brings in the wrath of the customer. So make a good Mascot for your company or team.
Getting Started in the Mail Order Business. How Much Does It Cost?
Extreme Makeover ? Small Business Edition
Have you ever watched one of those home makeover shows? You know the scenario. The homeowners have decorated or remodeled their house all by themselves. After awhile, they realize that what they did is unprofessional, it doesn't work, it's not what they want, it's not what they need, it's ugly, or they just flat out despise it. So, they hire an expert designer to help.
Wealthiest 10% of Americans Name Top Quality Brands for 8 Products in New Survey
The seventh in a continuing series of twice-yearly surveys by The American Affluence Research Center (AARC) reveals the brands considered to have the highest quality, regardless of price, by the wealthiest 10% of Americans, the 11 million households representing about half of all consumer income and spending, a third of the total US economy, and 70% of the personal wealth of Americans.
Brand Extension; Going from Consumer to Commercial
As more and more home pressure washers are sold at leading retailers such as Wal-Mart, Sears, Home Depot, Cosco, etc. We are seeing companies offer products in brand line extension to service this niche. Armor All is the newest company to offer it's brand name customer loyalty to sell these products. They of course have been heavy into the Car Wash Industry with National Networks of Distributors in Canada and The US and Europe for tire cleaners and protectants, now they are offering a concrete cleaner for home pressure washer do-it-yourselfers.
9 Keys to an Effective Logo
The right logo, with the right characteristics, will boost your visibility, credibility and memorablity ? which means more business for you!
Putting You and Your Company in Position to Own Your Market
Americans have always liked their coffee hot. But then Starbucksmade hot coffee desirable, in demand, and extraordinarilyprofitable. And then Starbucks made coffee "cool" with itssuper-popular iced Frappucino drink -- just as trendy,fashionable, and universally appealing.Starbucks is no doubt one of the greatest marketing stories ofrecent history. How this company turned an unassuming beverageinto an icon of sophistication and taste is no mystery, however.It's all about a marketing tenet called positioning.The coffee company started out in Seattle's Pike Place market in1971 as a single gourmet coffee shop, and by 1995, the chain'searnings were $26.1 million. Marketing experts agree thatStarbucks' skyrocket to fortune centers on its aesthetic sense.In other words, the public's perception of Starbucks has to dowith how it appreciates this company's style. Sure, Starbucksfilled a need and created unique product brands, but whatattracts coffee drinkers again and again is the experience ofthe Starbucks environment and its products. Smooth,sophisticated, artistic: These are seductive qualities even fora business based on a little brown bean.The Starbucks story illustrates at least two powerful marketingprinciples. Both help us to better understand effectivepositioning, or the process of finding a "place" for ourselvesin people's minds:People buy for their own reasons, not anyoneelse's.The stronger position is found in the experience, outcome,or benefit you provide as opposed to the methods you use forproducing those outcomes.Starbucks shows us that it's not about packaging -- it's aboutpositioning. The environment of Starbucks creates an experiencethat invites us to come study for exams, hang out andphilosophize with friends, or get the day started with a warmcup of java and the morning news. Starbucks is an invitation tolinger, not just get your coffee and go.When you are assessing your own position and considering how youmight improve your image and thus your market share, rememberthat there are essentially four winning positions: better,different, faster, or cheaper. You can certainly positionyourself as one of these, perhaps even two; capturing a positionas three of them is tough and probably not desirable, andcornering all four is just about impossible.Not everyone is up to the task of creating another Starbucks.It's tempting, with price wars so rampant, to believe that aperception of being cheapest is easiest to establish. Yet intruth this is the most difficult because of fixed costs. It'slike doing the limbo: you can go only so low, and then you'reoverextended or flat on your back. Definitely not the easiestposition to be in.How about being better instead? Contrary to popular belief, thisis perhaps the easiest position to take, since making animprovement or simply creating the impression of greater qualityor ability has no constraints. One tip: when you capture thedifferent category, you may get the better category as aby-product.Starbucks capitalized on this technique, as did Dennis Rodman,the oddball of basketball. He came up with a way to take twopositions in fans' eyes: both different and better. Okay, maybehe wasn't actually better than his teammate Michael Jordan, whowas unbeatable, but certainly he was perceived for a time asbetter (cooler, trendier) among those who were captivated by hisstyle. His fashion and fascinating antics made him so unique thathe became unforgettable. And because he was also an excellentball handler, he became famous and highly regarded in hissport.BMW has also taken the better-different approach. Until fairlyrecently, Mercedes-Benz had the better luxury car market sewnup, so BMW -- a competitor with a parity product -- simplyrepositioned itself. Its tag, "the ultimate driving machine,"appeals to a younger crowd and gives them luxury with power andhandling. This is "hip luxury," which is different from theMercedes position, which could be summed up as "elegant luxury."And voilà: BMW became as hot and desirable as a cappucino on awintry morning.BMW marketers had both a strong sense of the position theywanted to hold and precisely defined their premium clients, thecréme de la créme within their target market. You can do this,too. Once you've figured out what position you can successfullygain in your business, ask yourself the following.Who is my premium client? Who would be the most enjoyableand rewarding to serve?What are this client's unique desires, needs, andchallenges? How can I best serve this client?What do I (or can I) provide in a unique way to help myclients achieve their business outcomes?How can I position myself as an expert in this market?With this information, you can tailor your marketing efforts --everything you say to people, any support materials you use,even the way you dress and act -- directly to this audience tohelp establish your position. This is the first step to "owningyour market."Positioning is like popularity: You have to be seen in the rightplaces and with the right people. This is more than socialclimbing: You learn more about your clients and they learn moreabout you when you frequent the same places, attend the samefunctions, join the same associations, be published in theirperiodicals, and develop products and services specifically forthem.Positioning is as much about who you are not as it is about whoyou are. Starbucks is not a cheaper and faster cuppa joe; it isan upscale, gourmet coffee experience. BMW is no old-styleluxury; it is stylish performance. Dennis Rodman is no gentlemanforward; he is the outrageous, extreme athlete who is arecognized celebrity even for people who don't know basketballfrom billiards.Do you want to win big? If so, have the courage to answer thesequestions clearly and define your own game: Who are you? Who areyou not? Who are your clients? These are the essential decisionsyou must make if you want to not only understand but own yourmarket.
Branding On The Web Is Like Mining For Fools Gold
I am sick and tired of marketing geeks touting the beauty of branding, brand building and just spouting branding in any context, especially when the term is used with "internet" or "web" or "digital!" You can't have a conversation today for more than five minutes without some marketing type throwing in a line about brand building!
A Successful Failure
A successfully positioned business sometimes doesn't win a new client. And that, my friend, is the point. Let me illustrate with an anecdote.
Not So Stationary Stationery
The elements and functionality of the basic stationery system is changing. With the advent of email, fax, web and cell phones, stationery systems must be adjusted to meet the needs of today's business.
Corporate Branding and Professional Logo Design
Any business with the minimum interest to be successful should concentrate on developing their corporate image and when I say "any business", I mean it, absolutely any business-even if it's a mom-n-pop shop. "Corporate image" might be a big word for such small ventures, however, what I meant by that is how the business wants themselves to be perceived by their customers. Irrespective of the size of the business it is very important to determine how do you come across to your potential customers? How do you compare to your competitors? These factors are largely determined by your branding and marketing strategies. Branding tools like logo designs, business cards etc goes a long way in creating your corporate image. Any marketing communication material should ideally have your corporate logo on it, which would give more credibility for your business as well as help your client to perceive your business as a professional enterprise.
Branding Strategy - Brand Identity
Today, in many organizations around the world, branding is treated as a cosmetic exercise only, and regarded merely as a new name, logo, stationary and possibly a new advertising campaign. But, to associate your "brand" with such superficial cosmetics is like saying that people are really only the sum of their name, face and sometimes their clothing
Personal Branding: Characteristics of a Strong Personal Brand
How many times have you been at a networking function and been lost for words when asked "what do you do"?
Branding Mistakes - Brand Identity Guru
1. It "sells itself." I don't need to market.
Brand Identity - Corporate Identity and Brand Value
Companies work hard building the strength of their brands - it is critical to the ongoing brand management process to have meaningful and actionable data-driven measures of these efforts.
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