I really enjoyed Lee’s branding presentation this morning! Here’s some food for thought I took away with me when it was all over.
- A brand is also an experience. Think about Starbucks. They are selling more than a product or service: being a third place, an experience, is a crucial part of their brand.
- Coca-Cola continues to be the most valuable international brand. Although we may think of them as being part of an all-American event like a backyard barbecue, they do a great job tailoring their marketing to each country where they do business. Target your brand separately to each target market!
- Generational branding…you don’t talk to Boomers, Gen X or Gen Y the same way. [And we have some great books on that topic you can check out…take a look here, here and here.]
- Authenticity is key, especially in this 2.0-driven world. What does this mean? At heart, your brand makes a promise to the public. Your reputation should show that you keep your promises.
- Solicit feedback from the naysayers who don’t like your brand. Why don’t the like you? If they were your customers, what went wrong? Ask how can you make it right if you did something wrong.
- When you are working on branding, let your employees know what you’re doing and why. Treat your employees well, while you’re at it. If they are not treated well, their plight will conflict with your branding. (Think about Wal-Mart’s struggle with the minimum-wage image they have, which conflicts with their main marketing messages.)
- If you say you’re Number 1, you better be able to prove it.
- If you think you don’t need to worry about your brand since you don’t use the Internet to find customers, think again. Google your company or nonprofit and you are already out there. Either you control your brand’s image online…or the world will.
I twittered a few other interesting points during the presentation, but I’m way too lazy to repeat them here. Take a look at http://www.twitter.com/ccplbusiness if you’d like more!