I took this from an online source: Branding is an “attempt to attach higher credibility to a new product by associating it with a well-established company name. Unlike a family-branding (which can be applied only to a specific family of products), corporate branding can be used for every product marketed by a firm.”
My take is the brand of a company is not just a pretty logo, colors and the graphics used -- although a good image does count. According to a brand expert in Phoenix, Park Howell, “The world of brand marketing is changing rapidly. Ad campaigns don't work like they used to. Because brands are no longer the storytellers. They're the story makers handing their stories to their customers in hopes they'll share it with their world.”
I fully agree that great brands are great storytellers to all their audiences. Another premise I adhere to regarding branding is employee engagement. You can have a great product or service but if behind the scene, the people who make it all happen aren’t rowing in the same direction, you will eventually fail or never reach the prominence you aspire to. Even the competitors can feel the vibe…good or bad.
It’s all about the culture and engagement of the employees: they impact service levels which I hope we can all agree are vital to success. So, before you get all excited about marketing and launching a brand, better make sure when you charge up the hill with your new flag that you also look back – are the employees behind the effort, believe in the tagline and mission, and or trust management to lead the effort? Input from focus groups, surveys and brand ambassadors are key to any success.
Two simple measurements I look at when a new brand is launched: Do the employees share the brand enthusiasm on social media? And are they proud to wear the apparel of the company and spend their own money to do it? If not the leaders are waving the flag alone.
A brand also impacts whether high-quality people want to come work for you. How do you act in the communities you serve? If there is an effort void, there will also be a void for your brand awareness. Of course, brand impacts customers, suppliers, vendors, distributors, journalists and most importantly shareholders. A good brand is worth 7% of a stock price.
I’m totally convinced from my many years of experience a good brand is vital to success, BUT a great brand starts at the top and how management acts and communicates permeates through the whole company including the janitor and in the field. Pride, trust, service and success (plus avoidance of stupid PR issues) reflect the great brand story everyday -- brand credibility gains goodwill and does not take a day off.
Al Maag is author of the book "Social Media Isn't Social" available on Amazon.com; and a principal at MaagComm+