I came across an interesting read by Austin McGhie the other day while perusing some marketing tweets — it speaks to the often misuse and misunderstanding of the term ‘branding’.
Unless you’re a cattle rancher, you are not in the business of ‘branding’.
Think back to the first real job you landed – or any job for that matter – you need to build your reputation, prove your ability and competency and willingness in the job, and you must also exude the attitudes and behaviors of someone who lives and breathes and believes in what they do. Brands are very much the same, but they’re more esoteric and ethereal than the job example I just gave you.
Let’s make something very clear – a brand is not some product or service that penetrates the market, rather it is the market’s response to your product or service offering, your company’s mission and values, as well as a variety of other factors. Put simply, a brand is not a stimulus, it is a response. Like working to prove yourself and gain respect from your colleagues and superiors in any job setting, brands are no different.
Marketing strategy, differentiated advantage, and positioning are fundamental in creating a resilient brand. Your position is a refined representation of your marketing strategy, and your differentiated advantage is what you can give that nobody else can quite match. Positioning will happrn, but the problem is that if you do not impose yours most forcibly, other competitors will position for you.
Brand is like an award of honor, a rite of passage, a badge, a sign of accomplishment and resilience, but it can also be the gossip or chatter about you behind your back - make sure it’s honorable, build it from the inside-out.
Watch 10 brand stories on TEDtalk to learn more.