Over generations Labrador Retrievers (or insert the dog of your choice
because it is universal) have honed their skills as an art form that we humans call marketing and advertising. You can observe month old puppies already applying branding tactics that will serve them all of their life. They know instinctively the brand marketing basics:
- Show up
- Pay attention
- Don’t Quit
They are the original brand developers.
If you are president of a company, own a business or are the marketing manager of a business, I am referring to you as a Brand Developer.
The Apple vs Samsung lawsuit should be more that a passing interest to you. The courts are deciding how you can differentiate your brand.
What is happening to brand development process?
Apple sued Samsung for infringing on three design patents for discrete components of the iPhone — the front face of the device, the rounded edges framing the face, and the device's distinctive matrix of colorful square icons. Apple won the suit and Samsung was ordered to pay $399 million in damages. I am going to paraphrase NPR but you can read the NPR article online.
That is the caption for my next tee shirt. Yes, I like tee shirt marketing. It’s fun. People like tee shirts. It’s a challenge to capture a meaningful message in a few words that grabs people’s imagination and stimulates their interest. The investment is low, can be less than $300 for 50 shirts. If you have a creative message your audience will wear them and create brand awareness for you for free. It’s not your audience, you say…don’t be so sure. Everybody likes creative messages and almost everybody wears tee shirts at home and in public. Put your message on a tee shirt and spread the word for years to come. Try it. It’s a start for doing some outrageous marketing where the returns are really effective. Sometimes a brand developer wants to be a guerilla marketer.
A brand is a promise, an experience and a trusted friend.
A brand is an experience we keep going back to because it makes us feel good. It says something about who we are. It is a promise that we are reminded of by smells, sounds, touch, taste and visuals (image). Brand developers know that you find or create your brand or a brand will be created for you.
Not that you want to kill your brand. These are five stumbling blocks that get you labeled but not branded. If you are not careful and aware of what is happening your customers will define who you are and label your product or service. Brand developers constantly monitor social media and talk to customers because they know listening gives them the edge. 9 Steadfast Rules of Branding
Your logo, if you do it right.
Starbucks logo is like a beacon—welcoming and inviting. The story is Starbucks adopted a Siren–“a seductive mystery mixed with a nautical theme.” She is at the heart of Starbucks… “she’s a muse –always there, inspiring us and pushing us ahead. And she’s a promise too, inviting all of us to find what we’re looking for, even if it’s something we haven’t even imagined yet.” These are the feelings of Starbucks management describing their logo and building their brand.
I am sure you have heard the phrase ‘What gets measured gets done.’ I think it’s true because it focuses attention on the thing that is important. Business consultant and writer Tom Peters agreed and said, “I think "What gets measured gets done" is the soundest management advice I've ever heard.
And my favorite brand development quote is also from Tom Peters. He said “distinct... or extinct.” Very succinct and elegant. If you are not different you will not survive. Following are some other things you should check to see if you need Brand-Aid.
There are several reasons for developing a brand: greater ROI, build equity in the business, create new opportunities, competitive advantage, and survival to name a few. The most important compelling reason for most owners and CEO’s is better ROI. “If you are not a brand you are a commodity. Then price is everything and the low cost producer is the only winner” per Philip Kotler, professor at the Kellogg School of Management.
Being first with a good idea is really difficult and may not happen but once in your lifetime, if it happens then. Apple’s iPod, Coca-Cola, WD-40, Dixie Cups, Post-it Notes, Duct Tape, and Google are just a few great ideas that were first to the market.