Over the years, branding has ebbed and flowed in terms of its “hot-ness” in the market. Let’s examine 4 myths about branding and all come to terms with the fact that branding will never go out of style.
Myth 1 – Branding just happens, we don’t need to fund it.
It’s true that once upon a time, branding did just happen. Times were simpler then and there were a lot fewer choices. Over the years there has been a much larger number of products in any given category and a greater and greater need to build your own brand.
Companies that don’t make the investment in building their own brand, are left having their brand identified and built for them by their customers. Today, your brand can be built incredibly fast by others. If people are aggressively targeting your company via social media without you being a part of that, you are not in control of your brand.
By investing in branding for your company, you are able to:
- Control the message
- Be clear, consistent and relevant
- Converse directly with customers who may have negative impressions of you
Myth 2 – Branding doesn’t add any value to my company’s bottom line.
Companies like Interbrand and Young & Rubicam have created models to be used to determine the financial contribution of the brand. Interbrand’s financial analysis “measures the overall financial return to an organization’s investors, or its “economic profit.” In their most recent survey of the top global brands, Coca-Cola was assigned a “Brand Value” of over $77 Billion and Apple was at over $76B. The contribution of the brand to shareholder value cannot be underestimated.
Myth 3 – Branding is just something marketing does. It doesn’t impact our other departments.
Branding is the responsibility of everyone within an organization. Every interaction that someone from outside the firm has with the company is an opportunity to reflect the brand of the company. In his book Linchpin, Seth Godin describes what he calls Krulak’s law: “The closer you get to the front, the more power you have over the brand.
One errant minimum-wage cog in the machine can cripple an entire brand, or at the very least, wreck the lifetime value of a customer.”
Everyone in the company from the CEO down to the receptionist has power over the brand, so everyone should be educated on it and should evangelize and communicate the brand with accuracy, clarity and authenticity.
Myth 4 – My Brand is built through my distribution strategy.
I worked with a CEO once who was quoted as having said this. Not surprisingly, the company had incredibly low brand awareness when we measured it. Building a brand really does take a concerted strategy, an on-going, committed budget and frequent measurement to see how your tactics are succeeding. By having a strong brand, you have more successful distribution as retailers prefer working with brands that their customers are familiar with.
Your brand is at the core of your customer engagement marketing strategy and needs to be properly tended to. For a complete evaluation of your current engagement and branding programs, contact LaunchLab to work with you on a needs assessment and a strategy development.
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