The Art of Branding

Many of the companies that get branding right do more than just marketing; they practice “the art of branding”. Guy Kawasaki wrote about this in a recent article. He explains how to overcome the challenges that companies and marketers face and gives advice on how to overcome the challenges and make your brand stand out in the crowd.

8 Tips for Branding:

  1. Seize the high ground. How can your brand or your company do some good for the world? This can mean conservation or even just making people happy.
  2. Create only one message. Don’t be complicated and don’t confuse your audience. Pick one message and stick to that.
  3. Speak English. By this, he doesn’t mean the English language only, buy not to use jargon or terminology that your core target audience does not understand.
  4. Take the Opposite Test. Are the descriptions you use about your company, your brand, your products, or services unique? The opposite test explores if your competition uses the antonyms of the adjectives that you use. If they do not, your description is not helping. He gives the example, “I’ve never seen a company say that its product was limited, full of leaks, hard to use, and slow.”
  5. Cascade the Message. This means that everyone in your company should understand and be familiar with the message.
  6. Examine the bounce back. Bouncing back is asking your message recipients to send you back the message so that you can see how they interpret it. Listening to the voice of your customer is important in many aspects of business.
  7. Focus on PR, Not Advertising. “Brands are built on what people are saying about you, not what you’re saying about yourself.” This can only be achieved with PR and controlling what message you are sending the public, not necessarily with advertising.
  8. Strive for Humanness. Does your brand speak to your customers or clients as an individual? Companies that do this successfully are now famous for branding like “My iPod”, “My Macintosh”, or “My Harley Davidson”.

In summary, his message is about advertising and spending money vs. spreading a message about your brand, which does not necessarily mean advertising or spending money. Creating a brand that forms an image in your target audiences’ mind is of key importance. How does this advice apply to your brand?

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