How to Create a Successful Brand: Lesson 1

Summarization of – The Brand Gap by Marty Neumeier
Now that we have defined what a brand is and what a brand is not in our last Wisdom Wednesday. We should move on to what makes a brand successful and how to achieve this goal.

Companies often fail to achieve greatness because there is a gap between the two major concepts needed to forge a successful brand: Strategy and Creativity.

                              STRATEGY                                                                        CREATIVITY

Analytical

Intuitive

Logical

Emotional

Linear

Spatial

Numerical

Visual

Verbal

Physical

Strategy and Creativity need to work together smoothly in order for a brand to prosper and be charismatic.
A ‘charismatic’ brand is any product, service, or organization for which people believe there is no substitute. And any brand can be charismatic, even yours! You simply must master the “5 Principles of Brand Building”.

5 Principles of Brand Building

1.   Differentiate: it is a fact that the brain acts as a filter to protect the brain from too much information, and we are hardwired to notice only what is different.

You must ask yourself:
• Who are you?

What do you do?

Why does it matter?

Unless you have compelling answers to these questions YOU NEED MORE FOCUS.

2.    Collaborate: Like building a cathedral – building a brand is a collaborative project. Whether you collaborate with marketing professionals outside of your company or hire internal marketing professionals you are working with a network of people to create a successful consistent brand.

3.    Innovate: This is where you must put on your creative thinking hat. This can be difficult for some companies due to the gap discussed above.

Creative thinking is right-brained thinking, and strategy is left-brained thinking. Innovation comes from using both sides of the brain to achieve something new and different.
How do you know if it is innovative? When it scares the hell out of everyone.

For Ex: A brand will need a STAND OUT name and any great name needs great graphics and so on.

4.   Validate: Validation means bringing the audience into the creative process. This means you need to test your ideas, gain feedback from your audience and use that feedback to make sure the audience understood the message you sent them!

The test should be covering:

a.   Distinctiveness

b.   Relevance

c.   Memorability

d.   Extendibility

e.   Depth of Meaning

5.Cultivate: Business is a process not an entity. A living brand is a pattern of behavior not a stylistic veneer.

Ex: If your company looks like a duck sounds like a duck but swims like a dog = your audience will distrust you and you will lose your charismatic brand.

Reflection: I feel that a lot of companies, even some who have reached a level of financial success feel that their brand is simply the logo or avatar they put on their business cards and that when designers and marketers are asked to refresh or redesign these visual elements that are associated with their name will magically bring them new customers. Visuals can help – but the way that company chooses to operate in the marketplace will make or break the trust that the company is asking for by sending their name and face into the world.

Next week: So you have a successful brand: Now what?