“Brand.” What is it?

A number of people are familiar with the term “Brand”, but for the most part have only a vague  understanding of its meaning.  And since it has become an incredible force in the success of any  organization, it seems appropriate to write about it.

Some say, I know.  It’s about the logo.  Well, yes.  That’s true.  Others are convinced, it’s about the  tag line.   Well…yes, it’s  that, too.   So, if I want to upgrade my Brand, should I redo my logo and  redo my tag line?  Will I have a new Brand?  Well…not quite.

“Brand” is all about thinking through and preparing a business strategy.  The two items above are representatives of  that strategy.

So…what kind of a strategy are you talking about?   Well most of the time, when you talk with traditional strategic planners, they are referring to the over-all business strategy for an organization, primarily with an inside-out perspective.  A “Brand” Strategy is one that is conceived from an outside-in perspective.

It begins with being very aware of what’s happening in the marketplace.  What is “your position” “your image” in that environment?  What must you do to maintain it, or improve it?  It means knowing your competition and what they are offering.  How you are alike and how you are different.  It means knowing your customers.  Why they continue to do business with you.  It means that you hire a certain kind of employee that can help you meet your goals, and meet the needs of your customers.  What kind of incentives to give them in order for them to better do their job.  What kind of training they will need.  It means what kind of mandates you will give your management group.  And the kinds of incentive you will offer them for meeting those goals.

A Brand Strategy is a “template” for making decisions regarding sales, marketing , advertising, hiring, support services, customer service, systems, IT,  HR, budgets, finance…you know…the whole ball a’ wax.

So, the next time your think Brand, think strategy.  Get your head in the marketplace.

Your success depends on it.

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