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Your Brand Is a Verb, Not a Noun

Posted by: Today's Tip Contributor on May 19, 2010

The "ing" in branding is more than just three letters or a grammatical term. Keeping a brand active, lively, and in movement is a vital yet often overlooked part of building a successful brand. It’s not simply build it and brand it. Rather it is build it and continue to cultivate the brand every day. A brand embodies your organization—your products, your services, your mission, your vision, your people. Branding comes from listening and knowing your internal and external constituencies—looking at the competitive landscape, identifying where you can distinguish yourself, defining it, owning it, and bringing it to life. For small businesses looking to establish a brand, here are a few things to keep in mind:

1. Time and consideration and resources are needed to socialize a brand and assure that it not only comes to life in day-to-day activities but is focused and touching the right audiences—both internally and externally.

2. Externally, keep knowing, listening, and engaging your audiences to ensure your brand stays relevant. Social media make this easier than ever as your brand comes alive and interacts with others on a daily basis.

3. Make sure that product development stays true to your promise and delivers. This is the key to retaining brand trust.

4. Like Apple, the master of all brands, fulfill, surprise, delight, repeat!

Remember, branding never ends. And it never ends because business is always evolving. If you take your eye off your brand—assuming it remains relevant and alive—there can be serious repercussions.

Andrea Naddaff
Partner and Vice-President of Business Development
Corey McPherson Nash
Watertown, Mass.

Reader Comments

Prof P.Madhu Sudana Rao,Ethiopia

June 10, 2010 10:14 PM

In present days any product is identified by its name, brand, trade mark or the symbol. Branding helps current and past customers to remember a particular company .It enables to know where to find when they want to buy again. It also helps the products, goods and services to be instantly recognizable with little explanation.
The company will be understood and recognized by the people to whom they want to sell to It helps marketing and sales process to be more effective, easier and quicker.
The market changes like the tide, depending on what direction society is going in. Where they were before, which way they're headed, and wherever it's likely they'll end up, socially, economically, ethically, politically, culturally, intellectually, psychologically, philosophically. Today consumers have more access to information and more choices than ever before. The result is higher expectations, and the brand’s message must captivate the consumer immediately. Companies seeking to experience long-term success will have to create the most compelling, relevant, and consistent brand experiences for their customers. They become psychological concepts held in the minds of the public, where they may stay forever. As such you can't entirely control a brand.
The development of a branding strategy must begin with identifying the brand’s core values. These are qualities which an organization deems most important. For instance, an organization or business may identify its core values to include: honesty, integrity, excellent communication, and client satisfaction.
An important aspect of brand development is to create a positive emotional attachment to the brand which creates a response in its audience without the audience seeing the product or directly experiencing the service. Positive emotional bonding comes from a mutually beneficial relationship built on intrigue, trust, understanding, and support. These are qualities that often separate colleagues from friends, and friends from family. One should build brand promise on the basis that product will deliver positive, relevant, and unique emotional qualities
Brand is what identifies business to consumers. It resides in customer’s hearts and minds - it is all their experiences and perceptions. Good branding results in loyal customers. It is well known that existing customer relationships are the key to profitability. So it's no wonder that branding is a major marketing goal. It is created from a series of experiences, from every interaction over the lifetime of the relationship with each adding to or subtracting from the 'brand experience. This has paid off in increased sales and profitability which has been shown to be the case time and again - brand savvy companies have better growth, profits and shareholder returns. One should be consistent, ensure the same values, messages and visions are communicated to all staff and make sure they act on them. Build recognition, ensure brand designs and rituals are found at all 'customer touch points'.

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