Creating a brand is the biggest challenge in business because it is an activity that has many edges and a very long task. The process generally begins with coming up with a good brand, something that can be perceived as a simple task. What follows is to make it visible, a much more complex exercise in today’s world. Then, when obtaining some of that visibility, it is necessary to design different attributes or values for the market and create plans that make users or consumers perceive them – based on their experiences when they come into contact with the brand. Later, you have to minimize the weaknesses that occurred when designing the brand and launching it on the Norway Phone Number List . And, also, you have to anticipate threats in order to survive. As if this were not enough, it is time to sustain all this; adapting to changes in people’s attitudes, assimilating advances in technology, constantly proposing innovations and being competitive with other market players. For all this, we dared to affirm at the beginning that creating a brand is the greatest challenge that a person or organization can face. But don’t worry, the objective of this article is not to get you away, but to get closer and motivate you to create a winning brand for your business idea.
The complexity of the matter, as we have just shown, is in the large number of small challenges that must be faced throughout the process. Some challenges that require different skills and that clearly do not end in time. During brand building, professionals are faced with creative, strategic, operational, budgetary and managerial challenges. Furthermore, each step they take is a potential success that will take you to the next level, or a failure that will take you back to the beginning. For all this, it is worth discussing which are the safest routes to create a brand – without falling into the error of thinking that there are infallible recipes for success. And that is exactly what we propose here. Share useful information for building and developing brands. Well, one of those good routes we met at the beginning of the 2000s, in the midst of the birth of social networks, during the boiling of the digital age and the new marketing . In those years, a small book written by David F. D’Alessandro called War of Brands came into our hands.. Its cover advertised what was offered inside: the ten rules for building a sweeping brand. A promise that captivated us because it did not speak of tricks or recipes, but of rules to design a plan for the construction and development of a personal or business brand.
At that time, we devoured the book in a few days and found in it many powerful ideas that we have implemented in some of the projects that we have advised. We recently reread it, and despite the fact that it has aged more than fifteen years, we were surprised by the fact that most of its sentences are still valid. Obviously, there are things that no longer apply in today’s digitized markets, but many of the principles transcend the environment and focus on the conceptual, strategic and management aspects that are still very relevant today. What is a trademark? To begin to define that route for the creation of a sweeping brand that we find in D’Alessandro’s book, we believe Forex Email List that it is worth reviewing and understanding the brand concept well. For this, we appeal to a simple definition that we love: “A brand is the sum of all the experiences and values associated with a certain product, service or company” —a definition that we read in another book called 50 Things You Need to Know on management , written by Edward Russell-Walling. A brand is everything that a user or consumer thinks about a product, service or company when he hears its name. That is, a brand is an imaginary in the mind of the market that helps us to differentiate and find our offer of services or products.
We start from the definition because thanks to it some of the most basic premises for the construction of a brand are beginning to be understood. When defining the concept, it is clear to us that the consolidation of personality, values, experiences and behaviors is very important for brands. The other thing that we deduce from these simplified explanations is that the brand is everything, what is communicated and what is not — because those user or consumer experiences tell the market a lot about the brand, even if the message has not been verbalized. Also that people love brands, because they simplify their decision-making processes and because they solidify and sustain the seller-buyer relationship. Building a brand, then, is a critical need for today’s businesses. And doing it successfully is a company in which you have to put a lot of resources, make multiple efforts and be very methodical because, to a large extent, the secret consists in planning and controlling everything that is within the brand, its environment, relationships and experiences that it builds — an apparent utopia, but proposing it will serve to reduce errors.
The 10 rules to build a sweeping brand
We cannot begin to present those rules that we learned fifteen years ago with D’Alessandro without insisting that this is not a recipe or a step by step; on the contrary, this is a compendium of reflections used by brand builders to establish a solid foundation, to question each element created for the brand and to optimize each decision made. Also, these rules can be seen as a very useful tool for inspiration or for designing a protocol for the protection and use of an existing trademark. They are very simple rules to understand, but very powerful to consolidate any brand building and development efforts in current markets:
1. Above your brand there is nothing
This is a phrase that managers should always keep in mind. No matter how solid a brand may seem, its leaders will need to put arrogance aside, as that greatness in the brand will only be preserved if the sympathy of consumers is steadfastly guarded – don’t forget that when a brand becomes strong, it increases the requirements-. The entire organization must be concerned with maintaining the quality of the product or service and constantly improving the communication of the messages and the interaction that emerges from each one of them. And the thing is that audiences love to see the greats fall; therefore, protecting the brand must become an obsession for all members of the organization.
2. Consumers need good brands
Brand-consumer codependency is essential in today’s markets. Today’s audiences need robust brands to make their lives easier. Having large brands offers three important things: (i) saving time, since what is invested in decision-making is less; (ii) projection of the appropriate message because consumers – like brands – are constantly being judged by their peers and a consolidated brand will help you convey the message you want to your community and environment; and (ii) provision of an identity because established brands transfer their values and personality to consumers, thereby facilitating their entry into communities with shared interests.
3. Your brand message must be clear and consistent
Creating the brand message is probably the most momentous task of the entire construction process, but the challenge for builders does not end when this message is enunciated. The nascent brands must work in the elaboration of a clear, explicit and concrete message; while the established ones should strive to expand and reinforce it. In other words, the new ones invest resources in explaining and communicating, while the established ones in getting closer and talking. To convey a strong brand message, teams need a lot of discipline, planning, consistency, and a tremendous understanding of market circumstances and the media preferred by the audience and their interests. In the same way, it must be understood that the transmission of the brand message is a task that never ends.
4. Your brand needs a strong voice
The voice of the brand is its marketing actions , and these must be forceful, strategic and measurable. In each one of them the personality of the brand and its message must be evidenced. Everything must be permeated with the essence and personality of the brand to strengthen it: from personal encounters with consumers, through advertising in traditional media, its digital platforms, its presence on social networks and even published content. We say this to alert you, so that you do not let too many people intrude or take over the voice of the brand, as any mistake will produce a potentially costly setback or detour.
5. Advertising for your brand has to have a limit
When advertising, an audience is generally asked to listen to a message and then take action. This type of promotional effort that marketing departments executeIt has to have a limit of use, because if it does not wear out. Organizations need to restructure their advertising work, managers have to learn to put promotional interruptions aside to offer consumers valuable and fun experiences. If you’re focused on adding value, building relationships, and building conversations — and those same goals apply to advertising — your promotional actions and investments will be on the right track and brand building will be more robust. It is not whoever makes the most noise in the market wins, but whoever is closest to the audiences.
6. Any event is an opportunity and, in turn, a threat to your brand
Events have two sides: (i) they are a setting for direct contact with users or consumers and (ii) they are an environment in which it is impossible to control all the variables of the experience. The first is obviously a great opportunity to meet the audience that consumes you, to interact with them and to provide them with an experience that they will not forget. But, second, it is a threat that must be mitigated – or nullified, if possible. The invitation at this point is to try to set yourself clear objectives and avoid covering too much when participating with your brand in an event. If you have few resources, it is preferable to participate in several small and easy-to-control events, than to be in a large one in which everything can get out of control. Events should be viewed as marketing investments and they have to be planned and evaluated with severity, with a brand protection premise.
7. Don’t let a reputation crisis destroy your brand
In the business world there are two unavoidable things: competition and reputational scandals; and for both you must be prepared. All brands are really fragile and it takes a lot of skill and persistence to create and develop them, but just one awkward move to damage them. A poorly managed reputation crisis can destroy a brand in no time. Although we could expand much more on this rule, due to its complexity and importance, we will simply say that it is mandatory to build a reputation management protocol. This must be composed of detailed active listening mechanisms that allow knowing the threats in time; and for a clear plan of actions, for when those near-misses of crisis arise. Additionally, in the face of reputational threats, transparency, humility and responsibility must be appealed to. The more important the brand, the more difficulties will be experienced.
8. Build a great team to surround your brand
The protection, development and promotion of the brand are not the exclusive tasks of company officials, but also of all its allies – distributors, suppliers and, obviously, customers. Organizations need to develop concrete strategies to sensitize their distributors and suppliers about the importance of the brand. In addition, actions must be taken to motivate customers and consumers to defend the brand — rewarding this type of behavior in the audience. The more help the brand receives, the faster and more consistent its growth will be.
9. Don’t simplify branding to a commercial matter
Brands ceased to be simple names of differentiation for commercial purposes and became entities that contribute on all fronts of a company. The brand should be seen as an asset that will help you to raise the level of commitment by employees, as a tool that will attract the best available labor talent and as a great force for other companies that could be your allies as suppliers or distributors. When a brand is strong, people may try harder just to surround themselves with it.
10. The brand is everyone’s responsibility
A brand is more than just advertising, public relations, and marketing . We already said it, a brand is everything that comes to mind when a person sees a logo, purchases a product or consumes a service. Everything that surrounds the brand affects it or the potency. For this reason, it is a requirement to commit all those involved – collaborators, suppliers, distributors and customers – so that, before making decisions, they ask themselves: will this help or harm the brand? A company based on the brand will have a lot of advantage over its competitors. A company whose focal point is the brand will be a company willing to succeed.