Wednesday, September 20, 2006

B is for branding

We all know that branding is important. Branding can be a strong competitive advantage and can also reduce patrons' perceived risk of using our services.

Because branding is so crucial for those of us in the service industry, I'm passing along a few helpful branding pieces I've read recently:

  • MarketingProfs has two branding articles in its latest newsletter. One entitled, Strong Brands Always Have More Brand Credits Than Debits: A Starbucks Lesson describes how SBUX uses a credit/debit system in deciding whether or not a marketing move will add or detract from the brand. The author describes the four key questions SBUX marketers ask to make this determination and recommends making one for your own business.
  • In the second article, The 10 C's of Branding, the author gives ten qualities of strong brands (all starting with "c" of course): competent, credible, clear, compelling, consistent, constant, connected, committed and current.
  • points to a fun article from CNN Money about product mascots and how they communicate the brand. This strategy can also be used for character-free brands for which the main focus is on story-telling. On a related topic, the Marketing News blog asks, If your brand were a person, what kind of person...? The recommended exercise is fun and worth a try. The authors says the technique is "a means of seeing the brand in three dimensions in a way that mere descriptive terms can'’t illustrate, and conjuring up a whole person is more likely to get at the flaws as well as the strengths of the brand."
Update: I realized that the 10 C's article from MarketingProfs is missing #7, so there are only 9 C's listed. I've contacted the author so we can find out what this mysterious seventh C is. I'll keep you posted. :)

Update #2: I just heard from the 10 C's author, William Arruda, what the 7th C is. Here is what he wrote: "7. Confident
Confidence is attractive and it is an attribute of all strong brands.
Strong brands are not wishy-washy. They make decisions with conviction and
deal with the consequences. They have a vision and believe that the vision
can become reality.

Marriott was confident in their decision to go no-smoking. They instituted
the policy world-wide – taking a stand and attracting attention. Strong
brands aren’t bashful. They are confident and that confidence permeates the
entire organization.

Thanks, William!

Categories: creativity_and_inspiration | must_reads | resource_roundup

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