You’ve got to be
good at your job
before you can enjoy
the rest of your life
All movies contain some element
concerning what people do to earn
The entertainment value that lies
within our fascination for how
other’s make their money is
This is a list of 20 movies that
truthfully portray the nature and
ethical issues of various kinds of
work and business.
Cultivating the brand circle of life
Often it is believed that a brand is a fixed entity. A static construct that can be produced and displayed on the front of a company building, stamped onto packaging and printed onto a business card. Certainly, these are all components of presenting a brand but today it would be a mistake to believe that these objects are the brand itself. They are not.
This belief that a brand is a dynamic entity led to the creation of the name
A brand is a living entity
A brand is brought to life through the relationship between a company, its staff, its product and its customers. To survive a brand must grow, evolve and renew itself.
The purpose of this article is to put forward a complete understanding of the nature of branding. A brand is living entity that requires management, cultivation, nutrition, maintenance, and protection.
No matter how well defined and implemented the core brand presentation, no matter how practical the brand guidelines, no matter how disciplined the marketing director, the presentation of a brand loses precision over time. This is a natural process of use, wear and tear.
All brands become eroded over time. It is unavoidable.
There are many causes and reasons for this: The competition changes, the business landscape shifts, perceptions are altered, tastes change, culture evolves; a company’s marketing responses to any one or all of these things can blunt or date a brand.
New staff and different contractor all want to make their mark, add their interpretation or bend the brand to their immediate needs.
The only way to maintain a brand in top condition is through constant care and attention.
Dissemination means diffusion
There are many reasons for this diffusion which can easily lead to confusion. The competition changes, technology advances and the commercial landscape shifts. New staff and different contractors all want to make their mark, add their interpretation or bend the brand to their immediate needs. A company’s marketing responses to any one or all of these things can lead to a legitimate shift in brand focus.
All brands become eroded over time. It is unavoidable.
No matter how well defined and implemented the core brand presentation, no matter how practical the brand guidelines, no matter how disciplined the marketing director, the presentation of a brand loses precision over time. The more broadly a brand is disseminated the more it becomes diffused. This is a natural process of use, wear and tear.
Strategy is the seed
The spirit of a brand is contained within the brand strategy. Brand strategy describes the DNA of the brand, defines its footprint, and embodies the heritage, the personality, the character, the values and the mission of a commercial enterprise.
Marketing Strategy identifies the target audience whereas Brand Strategy identifies with the target audience. The two perspectives are completely interdependent.
There is little point marketing to an audience without demonstrating any empathy. And equally, there’s no point in appealing to a target audience that cannot afford to buy your product. Prospect and proposition must be aligned. That is the role of branding.
Whenever a brand appears to be straying, under-performing, or failing both an understanding of the problem and an insight into the potential solution can usually be found in the initial strategy.
In a crisis the challenge isn’t to change everything. The challenge is to identify and address the specific issue. The initial brand strategy can provide the seeds of brand renewal or to address a market perception crisis.
Synergy is sown
The saying: “Familiarity breeds contempt.” does not apply to branding. Familiarity in branding breeds comfort, confidence, continuity and loyalty. As consumers, human beings are frequently contradictory in their behaviour; they simultaneously seek the security of the tried and tested and the excitement of something new. It is this dichotomy of desires that provides the raison d’etre for branding. In practical terms it is easier for an established brand to launch a new product onto the market than it is for a new product from an unknown start-up venture.
For a brand to benefit from this consumer dynamic it must utilise a blend of communication and presentation techniques to engender synergy.
Synergy is defined as the interaction of two or more elements so that their combined effect is greater than the sum of their individual effects. Consistency is the logical coherence across parts.
In combination, synergy, consistency and relevance provide the background brand presence that leverages consumer confidence. This makes it possible for a company to introduce an ever increasing number of new or upgraded products and to accurately predict consumer loyalty and take-up volume.
Branding delivers a direct correlation between the sales curve and consumer perception.
Brand synergy cultivates brand trust. Trust in a brand allows a brand to pursue its commercial objectives by the most direct and efficient route at the lowest commercial risk.
rSales are the harvest
The greater the trust in a brand the higher the premium consumers will be willing to pay. So to be more precise profit on sales is the harvest.
Branding is the means to maximise the profit margin and deliver the highest levels of profitability.
In a very real sense, demand fuels demand, which boosts brand credibility and desire, to form a virtuous cycle of cause and effect.
The opposite is also true; discounts, clearances, incentives and offers can do serious damage to a brand’s perceived value.
Sales are also the harvest in other ways too. Sales mean customers. And customers potentially means a stream of quantitative, qualitative data and perhaps referrals, recommendations and positive reviews. So far so good; until the company then sends out an email that says:
“Thank you for your purchase. Your opinion is important to us. Please spend
2-minutes completing out customer satisfaction questionnaire.”
This comes across as contrived and cynical. More importantly, it grasps defeat from the mouth of victory. A prospect has just transformed themselves into a customer by purchasing your product. They paid money to do this. It’s very uncool to then immediately ask for a ‘favour’ which compromises brand perceptions at the very moment they could be bolstered.
Most consumers are sufficiently savvy to know that they have statutory rights and are well protected by legislation. If they have a problem they know how to express this to a company. If they are more than satisfied, equally, they are aware of how to provide a positive review.
If a brand is not attracting enough positive reviews this should not be addressed by immediately asking for the customer to complete a survey. Find a more imaginative and engaging way to attract customer feedback.
Success is the nutrient
Success provides the money to grow a brand and a business. Cash fuels growth if it is reinvested effectively.
Everything changes. A brand cannot be complacent. The marketplace does not stand still. It is essential to reinvest and feed a brand financially and intellectually too. Raw sales and customer data must be converted to insights. Market and product feedback must be used to inform product and service development.
Opinion, exposure, awareness, editorial coverage, customer feedback, social discussion can all be used to elevate and consolidate the prestige of the brand.
Success enhances brand appeal.