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Logos, Taglines & Branding... OH MY!

by Richard Gripp in General and Miscellaneous

Brand seems to be the hot term right now with every agency claiming to be experts on the subject. When you start a conversation with someone one the topic of brand, invariably their minds and speak jumps to logos, taglines and promotion. Thoughts immediately go to the tactical side of things. This is true for not only for people and organizations thinking about their brand, but also with the majority of agencies seeking to do some “brand” work.

So, in the spirit of clarity, here are six important things to remember about brand and brand development:

1.    A brand is a claim of distinction supported by evidence... by proof. Anyone can make claims. Proving your distinction is another thing all together.

2.    Brand is essential to building, sustaining and growing a successful organization. It is your most valuable asset. Look at Coca Cola. Over time the people in the organization come and go. Physical assets change and move on. But Coca Cola could never loose the brand identity and positioning that drives the company and its sustained profitability. Their brand represents over 60% of their company’s value.

3.    Brand is as much of an internal thing as it is an external. It is about operationalizing your brand distinction throughout the entire organization. It is about aligning your company’s business model with its brand strategy and building a brand driven culture.

4.    Managing your distinction through every critical interaction and touchpoint that your customers and stakeholders have with your brand is critical. These touchpoints must be controlled based upon what your brand promise stands for. You sure don’t want them managing themselves.

5.    Brand development comes first, before branding. This is the critical difference. Brand development is the strategic development of your compelling distinction backed by evidence. Branding is the tactical promotion and communication of that distinction.

6.    Brand development is a CEO/President/Owner thing. It must be top-down driven. Branding becomes primarily a marketing initiative.

So, if you are facing some brand issues and initiatives. Remember to first focus on brand development before you go skipping down the branding yellow brick road.

Richard Gripp is Co-Founder of Catalyst Marketing Design,Inc. in Fort Wayne. As a Certified Brand Specialist he has presented to Forums in Northern Indiana as a guest speaker.


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