Sunday, August 22, 2010

Some Myths About Branding




When business-to-business marketers think of branding, often they think of just a logo or business card. Or they think of the opposite extreme, such as Apple or IBM, so they assume they will never have the budget to brand effectively.

Although dazzling branding is more than just pretty pictures, it also is something that is easily attainable if marketers put the right thought and effort into it.

Myth No. 1: Branding is Hard

Branding is not rocket science. It simply requires focused thought about what you want your company to stand for and to whom, and then what commitment to communicate that message through everything you do visually and experientally. You need to constantly be vigilant and regularly do a "system check" on your materials, business practices, customer service, and messaging to ensure your brand is clear and consistent.

Myth No. 2: Branding is Expensive

Effective branding can be done on any budget whether it's $5,000 or $10 million. The real key to effective branding is making sure that you have defined, in detail, your ideal audience and that your messages speak directly to their needs and the benefits they value. Consistency and clarity in messaging, not how much money you spend promoting your brand, is what makes that brand effective and creates loyal fans and evangelists. You may not be able to do expensive ad campaigns, but with clear, consistent, and strong messages, you ensure that even those three or four activities you can afford to do are laser-focused.

More myths with my blog next week.

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To share common sense lessons learned with 40-plus years experience in marketing, sales and as a B2B publisher.

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I'm really just a "mature" guy picking up experience along the way. If only by osmosis, I've observed what works and what doesn't work under the marketing umbrella -- with 11 years in sales and marketing at Procter & Gamble; 30-plus years in B2B publishing (including three years as a publisher); and 1,000's of calls on every size company starting with the likes of Microsoft and Hewlett-Packard all the way down to small, brash start-ups.

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