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Brand Identity and the CEO
This week I spent a few hours with a highly successful CEO discussing his brand identity questions and concerns. "What do the most successful brand initiatives have in common?" he asked. I shared an observation with him based on many years of having similar conversations and being involved in successful (and not so successful) branding programs.
There are a lot of reasons to embark on a major corporate branding program, but from the point of view of a CEO, most of them are simply not compelling. For many years I have watched marketers and design managers struggle to get large scale identity programs funded and supported by senior-most management. Even though there are clear breakdowns caused by the existing identity systems and designers believe they are presenting a clear, rational justification for investment?their attempts are rebuffed more often than accepted.
While designers think that because the expression of a brand is out of date or not working as hard as it should in a competitive context, it is obvious it should be changed. Sometimes there are clear business problems caused by poor brand architecture systems. Customer confusion, uncompetitive brand communications, and cost inefficiencies are painstakingly documented, and still senior management is left unimpressed. Of all the problems they have to solve for the entire organization, these opportunities just don't rank high enough.
So what compels them to invest in solving their brand problems? When a CEO perceives brand as tool to express his or her vision for the organization, they fully support it. When they understand that changing the identity program can be a vehicle for manifesting the organizational transformation they want, they hop on board the train. When the brand change becomes emblematic of the change THEY seek, we have a shot at creating a program that shifts the organization's culture as well as the market's perceptions.
Design (all design) is done to serve others. It is always about them, not us. The real customer/user of corporate brand programs is the CEO. Make your branding program serve his or her purpose, and you'll have the opportunity to fix all of your design problems at the same time.
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.
The Role of a Visual Vocabulary in Brand Identity Design
Visual elements are a major part of your business's brand identity design. The keystone of that design is the logo, but in many cases, the logo isn't enough to convey all of your brand attributes. A visual vocabulary is a way to reinforce and add to the messaging that is contained in your logo.
Which Of These Words Attract Your Clients
Whether it's your business card, tagline, article title, web site title and description or ad, just the difference of a few words can either pull in prospects and clients or push them away. Getting it right can determine whether your phone is ringing off the hook or you are twiddling your thumbs hoping someone will call.
Branding Fiasco -- Better Be Who You Say You Are!
Our experience as customers offers great instruction into the concept of branding. Come with me on a recent "experience" and you'll see what I mean. Here's the situation:
Picking The Design Company Which Is Right For You
So you've decided to go for it-you're ready to choose a design company to create your logo and other marketing materials. It seems easy enough. After all, when you make a purchase online of, say, a book, you simply go to an online bookstore. You already know what you're buying. But now it's not so clear. You do a search for "design companies" and hundreds of names pop up, all claiming that they are the ones who should do your logo.
Pressure Washing Companies and Co-Branding
Pressure washing companies often miss what we call 'super niche' markets, those industries which very much need pressure washing services and are willing to pay top dollar for them. One such industry is the signage business. For a pressure washing company with no relatives or friends in that industry it is hard to break in and get work there, however if you con-brand with an existing company you may find yourself with more work than you can handle and able to bill at very high rates
Brand Image ? Brand Identity Guru
Having a brand image is not a "have or have not" proposition. Everyone has one. The problem is that you might have more than one brand image, depending on whom you ask. You know yourself, but depending on whom you talk to, others may think you're something completely different. That's when a brand image company can help. You need to consider hiring a brand image company that identifies your most powerful brand image and then works to make it your only brand image. The phrase "brand image" gained notoriety when sales patterns began to show that feelings and visuals associated with brands were powerful motivators to purchase products. It isn't just products that consumers buy. It's their associated personalities and values.
Adventures in Advertising and the Affect on the Brand Name
Studying various target-marketing techniques and here is a thought. We have been reviewing companies who cross over into many sectors to identify with their potential customers. We have watched as they attempt to understand their customers buying behavior and how they try to create a desire to purchase. Few companies do this very well, few advertising agencies understand the dynamics of multiple markets. I have seen many advertising agencies squander their client's money. In my company, our team has nominated a few companies for their understanding of their customers, we have only considered those companies who cross ethnic barriers, and market to multiple sectors and customers in many industries. My choice was Rolex and Nike. Others members of our team felt comfortable with were GM, Dell, In and Out Hamburgers, Starbucks, E-Trade, MFS, Coca Cola, FEDEX, Washington Mutual, Mastercard, Wal-Mart (new series of ads), GE and Southwest Airlines.
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"!
Attract More Clients With A Brand Identity
You've probably heard that people buy products and services from people they know, like and trust. And, as I have done, you've probably wondered how you can foster more of this "Know-Like-Trust" factor in your business relationships. Pictures are tied to our emotions in powerful ways, so strategically using your logo and brand identity materials (business cards, letterhead, brochures, website, etc.) to enforce this connection is a great idea.
Branding Junk Removal - He Did It, Can You?
What does it mean to be remarkable?
Branding Yourself To Increased Profitability
Successful Realtors know the importance of branding their identities into the consciousness of the communities in which they live, like the big boys; Pepsi, McDonald's, Burger King, and other companies we know and have come to trust.
Brand Image - Brand Identity - Brand Strategy - Brand Identity Guru
Consumers perceive and accept many brands within a certain trade group in different ways. By personifying a brand (How would you describe brand X if it were a person?) we can find out, that for instance consumers perceive brand A as a young, impulsive, lively, attractive, energetic woman full of ideas. In the same way could brand B be an elderly, conservative and relaxed man. The brand can also have a completely inexpressive and bad image. That is how brand C may not have any real personal characteristics, slim, tall, unnoticeable and calm.
Trade Journals in Franchising
As many people know Industry Trade Journals in America have gone through a tough time in recent years due to slowing of advertising dollars. In franchising there is no difference. They use to give away subscriptions to Successful Franchising on franchise web sites; unfortunately that magazine was unable to weather the storm. They stop publishing in October of 2001. Now we see a re-emergence of Franchise Times, who has hired a new salesman, who is going to all the franchisors and telling them to advertise.
Effective Public Relations Essential for Personal Branding
Move over pop star "Posh Spice" Adams and English soccer hero David Beckham, the personal branding power of newly engaged Australian celebrity sports couple Lleyton Hewitt and Rebecca Cartwright could be worth up to $100 million dollars.
Choosing the Right Color Palette
Color is a highly personal experience ? everyone has favorite colors, and other colors that they absolutely don't like. So, how do you determine which colors that will work for your business identity, and that will send the right message to?
Value Proposition Writing - Brand Identity Guru
Your Value Proposition, or as I usually call it, your Core Marketing Message, is still misunderstood by most professionals. It's not just a tagline, sound bite or even an "Audio Logo." It goes way beyond that.
Setting the Right Price
One of the ways people get to know you is by the identity you project. Your company name, the way you present yourself, your business card and brochure, where you work, and other ways you conduct your business create an image that gives your customers information about you.
12 Ways to Reduce Postage
1. Never send a letter that weighs less than 30 gms. Five size8-1/2x11 circulars can be mailed with a 1st class postage stamp. By using all 10 sides with a variety of offers you have agreater chance of receiving an order.
Blonds Have More Fun!
In the book, The Blond Knight of Germany, American authors Toliver and Constable detail the life of the greatest fighter pilot to ever fly, Germany's Erich Hartmann. During WWII, Hartmann recorded 352 confirmed in-flight victories. To put it into perspective, very few American fighter pilots reached 100 in-flight victories. Simply put, Erich Hartmann reached levels of greatness most fighter pilots can only dream about.
Simple Risk Reversal Formula Will Send Your Sales Into Space (2 of 2)
Make A Bold Promise Then Back It Up With An Awesome Guarantee
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