Branding – It’s Not About the Tactics, Part 1

I admit it, it’s taken me a long time to REALLY understand how to brand and position a company and produce tangible marketing results. The best companies don’t just blast a message out without careful thought and consideration. First and foremost, they take a step back and look at things strategically.

One of my favorite sayings is the old, “ready, fire, aim” analogy, which I see all the time when it comes to branding and positioning. The best companies take the time to, “ready, aim and then fire” when approaching their branding, their position and their go-to-market strategy. They really understand the value they bring to the marketplace and how to effectively communicate it.

I can’t tell you how times I’ve heard, “we’re going to throw some stuff against the wall and see what sticks”. Bad idea. You will damage your brand by going straight to the market tactically without first figuring out strategically what you want your brand to be.

Why figuring things out strategically is so important:

  1. Throwing things at the wall and coming off half-cocked makes you look like you are still trying to figure out what you want to be when your company grows up.
  2. I would estimate 90 – 95% of companies say what they do but not why they do it or why their product is better then their competitors’ products.
  3. Do you really want to be just like everyone else? Or do you want to be original, unique and stand out from the crowd?
  4. Do you want to be a leader or a follower?
  5. Can you clearly and concisely communicate your value proposition in a compelling 30-second elevator pitch?
  6. Does your brand help position your company for where it wants to go in the future (i.e., acquiring funding, going public, selling the business, etc.)?
  7. Have you figured out how your brand is going to become a reality with a company-wide, holistic launch? What’s your plan to launch your brand internally and externally?
  8. Will your brand have legs and resonate for a period of time or is it just a one hit wonder?

If you are committed to getting your company to the next level, following these strategic guidelines will help you develop your company’s brand and position – and will greatly increase the chances of a successful implementation. Add that to a holistic, managed brand implementation while pro-actively getting your message out to your target audience – you have a winning recipe for success.

Written by Michael Doyle, President of Brand Iron

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