Just where does branding come from, and what does branding mean to your organization?
Understanding Branding: Entering a New Field
Branding isn’t just a part of your business, it is your business. The value of your enterprise is the value of your brand. And, with the prevalence of social media, you are a brand.
There’s no “opt out” – your story, your message, is online for all to see. As the CEO of Cargill Corporation, Greg Page , says, “In a world where nothing can be hidden, you’d better not have anything to hide”. On linkedin, Facebook and twitter, your brand is making an impression.
Understanding Branding: A Modern Context
For organizations, controlling the impact of your brand is paramount. Clients today have more ammunition than ever. And anyone with a smartphone and access to Yelp! is suddenly an expert on the value of your organization.
Within that context, you’ve got to understand how to control the conversation. Creating engagement requires real listening, and the ability to foster a community around your products and services.
From humble beginnings on the backside of a cow, branding has become the most vital aspect of your business – and often the most misunderstood. In the past, branding was about broadcasting – creating a message and sending it out to as many eyeballs as possible. Segmentation and market research started the quest for information, and traditional advertising (via print, radio and TV) ruled the day.
But today, things have changed.
Branding isn’t about broadcasting.
Branding is the very essence of your organization, and everyone in the company plays a role.
So, if you’re wondering if bulletproof branding requires:
- Great customer service
- Expert sales strategies
- World-class operational excellence
- Impeccable logistics and delivery
- Intelligent distribution
- Worldwide consistency
- Laser-focused leadership
- Confirmation from your customers
The answer to all of the above is: Yes.
Leave out any one part of excellence and excellence ceases to exist.[/box]
In other words: one misstep, and your branding isn’t bulletproof. No amount of promotion or public relations trickery can cover for operational or strategic malfunction.
Branding is not a function within the organization. Branding is the organization.
Your brand is not a billboard, or a package, or a logo. Not anymore.
Sure, presentation is a part of the overall package. But a great design with lousy service is a branding disaster.
The facade will fade quickly under the harsh glare of social media, instant communication, and re-imagined reputations.
Poorly engineered products that fail to deliver are a branding nightmare.[box] “We suck less than the competition” is not really a strategy. Ever work for a company like that?[/box]
So, what exactly is the definition of branding in the new economy?
It has been said that a brand is a promise delivered.
My question is: who decides when it’s delivered?
That perspective can only come from the customer. And today, the customer has more ammunition than ever before.
Understanding branding isn’t a history lesson. It’s a conversation about how to create a bulletproof brand.
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Find out more about how you can reshape the branding conversation, in BulletProof Branding. Featuring a foreword by Ted Rubin, this is the hold-your-handbook for strategic marketing in the digital age. If you want to create engagement, and be heard beyond the likes, tweets and pokes, you’ve got to understand the new rules for customer engagement. Today, customers on social media are armed and dangerous – that’s why you’ve got to have a bulletproof brand.