The explanation for business performance as a result of branding is straightforward and simple. It shines on it’s own.
So, you create the persona of your brand using design, style, tone, copy, communications or lack thereof. This provides context for the customer experience and in the process enhances their perception of the brand, for better or worse. Their behavior is a direct result of the brand perception and how well it fits with their expectation. The aggregate result of consumer behavior then defines the business’ performance.
Kevin Perlmutter at Interbrand created an interesting slideshow of how the customer experience affects business performance. It’s thirty-five slides with a great takeaway of five opportunities to improve the experience and evolve the brand to thus impact business performance:
Eliminate pain points
Link the brand to a top driver
Create Hero products/services
Redefine the category experience
Branding is about signals—the signals people use to determine what you stand for as a brand. Signals create associations.
Best practices aren’t always best, even if they work for everyone else. You have to know your market type and how your product/service fits into your user’s life. This applies as much to search marketing as any other of marketing.
Dropbox is a great company with a good service. An online company that provides software and storage to sync files online and computers. They have a clear picture of what they offer and how they offer it. But, the startup marketing wasn’t easy. They went through the typical PR blitz and online marketing focused largely on search marketing. Their lesson: earch marketing isn’t for everyone, even if you’re an online company.
Finding the essence at the core of a marketing strategy or, for that matter, of a company, makes all the smaller decisions much simpler. When you know where you’re going you can easily decide if certain steps take you closer or further away from that goal. Does this media spend bring us into their consideration set? Will that promotion benefit those customers we really care about? Are three more days of debugging worth delaying the launch? These questions will always pop-up, but the team that can act quickly and efficiently will have the knowledge and understanding of what’s at the core. That’s the best place to start, at the core.
Have you ever tried to write in spiral starting from the outside tip rather than the core? Have you ever launched a promotion quickly rather than truly understand the marketing need? Without deciding on a center and drawing the guidelines to write out in a spiral, things get complicated very quick. Without a central theme your marketing effect is diluted. You spend more time correcting and possibly end up in the wrong place.
If there is a central concept, then all paths can both revolve around and lead to this one single idea.
It’s easy to represent and simple to communicate when you start at the core and slowly move out in a pattern with known parameters to make sure it all ties into a central theme.
Posts with numbers and a short direct title tend to get better open rates. Usually it’s a number between 3 and 9. This one had 11 and for good reason. The original post is for “Moguls in Training” and the 11 rules are a good guideline for what to focus on while developing your own company, start-up, business or personal pursuits…
On Leadership: Give a damn
On Product Development: Solve a huge problem at the point of greatest pain
On Customer service: Give a public damn
On Employee Management: See rule 1 & be ruthlessly honest
On Marketing: See rules 1 & 2, then show, don’t tell
On Advertising: The more you need it, the more your product sucks
On PR: See rules 1 & 2, then light a match. If a fire doesn’t catch, do rule 2 better
For 8-11, check out the source of this great summary and rules at the Jonathan Fields blog. And remember, Mcintosh is a type of apple, so is Gala…
8. On Operations: … 9. On Sales: … 10. On Success: … 11. On Life: …
Also, be sure to check out the comments on his post. Some good insight there as well, including:
On Value: Would you buy it? If they didn’t pay you to like it?
On Clarity: Ask your mom if she “gets it.” If not, keep writing/ designing/ prototyping.
On the Experience: Walk it like you’ve never been there before. Then do it again three months later. Repeat…
Shown at a TED event last month. With this basic video explanation, Sivers clearly explains the basics of leadership, what it takes to create a movement, and how easily we can learn from a dancing man. A leader (brand or person) needs the guts to stand alone and look ridiculous. But what he’s doing is so simple, it’s almost instructional. This is key. You must be easy to follow! Once you’ve accomplished this, the focus shifts on the followers, specifically the first follower…
You can read the prequel and entire transcript for the video at Sivers’ site. It’s definitely worth the three minutes to watch this, or even longer to ponder the lesson and let it simmer.
The best thing to say to a visionary or an artist of any kind might be, “Someday, people will think what you did is really important.“
If it’s popular with everyone right away, it might not be art, it might just be good marketing. But if it earns attention and respect over time, if it wins over the skeptical crowds, then you’ve really created something.
– published by Seth Godin in his blogpicture by A.Riggioni (Kashgar 2001)