Principle of Branding

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The Nine Principles of Branding

Supplemental Information for the Branding Essentials Workshop

Written By | Greg Stine

Table of Contents
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Branding at a Glance Branding: What Is All This About, Anyway? Branding Principle #1: Keep It Simple Branding Principle #2: Mass-Produced Word of Mouth (PR) Builds Brands Branding Principle #3: Focused Brands are More Powerful Branding Principle #4: Differentiation is Key Branding Principle #5: The First Brand Advantage Branding Principle #6: Avoid Sub-brands at All Cost Branding Principle #7: Perception vs. Quality Branding Principle #8: Be Consistent and Patient Branding Principle #9: Write Out Your Brand Definition Discovering More Than Just Your Brand About the Author









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Branding at a Glance
By Greg Stine President of Polaris, Inc. The success of a product, service, individual, business, organization, or even a city is based on being perceived as unique. Look at any market leader and you’ll find they each own a place in the consumer’s mind. They have positively differentiated themselves from the rest of the competition. Branding is creating that individual niche in the consumer’s psyche and owning it. More than just marketing, branding is the entire effect that creates a memorable identity. A successful branding program is also based on differentiating yourself as unique. Effective branding creates a perception that there is no other product, service, organization or community quite like yours. Whether the distinction is a result of function, form, ease of use, price or prestige, the consumer believes you offer something exceptional. For example, factors affecting the brand of an organization can be both tangible and intangible, including office décor, personnel attire, organization philosophy, product/service quality, design of printed materials and value-added services, just to name a few. It’s everything people touch, see or hear that immediately sets you apart from the competition. In other words, your “brand” is your image as seen from the outside. Your brand is who you are — your strength, your integrity and your reputation. It’s not simply how your logo is displayed, but rather the emotional and intellectual response your logo elicits from your target audience. Take Starbucks©, for example. When people think of Starbucks, several images instantly come to mind, whether you’re a coffee drinker or not: designer coffee, expensive, yuppie, casual atmosphere, one on every corner, green logo, etc. It’s no accident that these images flood our mind so quickly. These are brand qualities created by Starbucks to distinguish themselves from other coffee companies. Starbucks has created a consistent experience in every store, every ad, every employee and every cup of coffee they serve. Today, when people think coffee, they often think Starbucks. Not only does this translate into sales, it validates the company’s most valuable asset: the Starbucks brand.


Stand out. Or stand aside.

Most organizations know little about branding. Therefore, you can get a leg up on your competition by knowing who you are as an organization and by being able to articulate it clearly. Whether you are part of a nonprofit organization, a downtown association, or a growing business, you should be thinking about branding. Brand yourself well. Take control of your image. The next time your name comes up, it will conjure the brand qualities you created and achieve the desired perception in the mind of the consumer. That's the power of branding.


Branding: What Is All This About, Anyway?
The world of advertising and marketing is full of meaningless jargon, design-speak and techno-babble that seems to be created for no other purpose than to confuse the rest of us. Years ago, when I first ran across the term “branding,” I thought, Oh no, another ad exec has written a book. However, I soon realized there was a powerful concept...
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