Tuesday, 03 January 2017 19:58

Branding...DNA of the business

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I had a long conversation with a client one day several years ago about branding that I still think rings true today.  The company was launching a new product and we were discussing their branding strategy.

Usually in the planning process we start with the Blue Ocean Strategic steps (article) as a beginning.  We can use the value proposition developed in that planning process in conjunction with our adoption plan as the basis for our core message.  Of course, at some point that high level strategy has to hit the ground and this is referred to in our office as the "roll out plan."  The roll out plan is where we figure out the details of when & how we are going to reach our target audience...media types, creative messages, frequency, etc.

But the conversation we had that day was a bit different because we weren't just talking about a strict "utility" to the consumer, but a more esoteric "who do we want to be and how do we want to be viewed" type conversation.  This type of analysis was useful because we were looking hard at the target market and trying to determine common personality traits, interests, etc. so that the brand image could be developed to maximize connection with that specific audience.  Obviously, that type of analysis isn't relevant to all brands, but it was a helpful extension for them to enhance the focus of what they needed to accomplish with their messaging.

That focus is the reason I call it the DNA of the business because once the client settles on an initial brand image (we could change based on results), all of the marketing will be developed with that image in mind.  We will try to take dead aim on that image and try to capture that ground while avoiding any muddying of the message with non-correlated messaging.  

I think good brands and good leaders understand that focus and try to control everything they can so it stays "on message" with no deviations.  Sometimes I've seen that focus come off as being difficult or weird, but those companies have consistently out performed the brands I've watched take a more laissez faire approach.

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Joshua Watkins

CEO & Publisher at Druid City Media, LLC  (Tuscaloosa & Birmingham, Alabama Area)

Druid City Media, based in Alabama is a diversified print and digital media company.  

Our Community Publishing group is the publisher of premier community news publications such as: 

Druid City Living (www.druidcityliving.com) in Tuscaloosa, and the new Birmingham Post-Herald (www.birminghampostherald.com).  Plus, DCM handles digital publications such as the Montgomerian (www.montgomerian.com), Azalea City Living (www.azaleacityliving.com), Rocket City Journal (www.rocketcityjournal.com), 30a Living (www.30alivingonline.com), Emerald Coast Living (www.emeraldcoastlivingonline.com) along with a growing Sports Publishing group including:

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