Friday, May 20, 2011

Essense of Branding

More for the less-is-more school of whatever "branding" really means from Mark Ritson and Marketing Week of the UK. His argument: extreme brevity drives clarity. He's focusing on the work done by Robert Polet, late of Gucci, and how Polet hammered home three word branding. The full read explains, but here are the takeaways:

The secret of every great brand I have ever worked for is that it can define its brand in up to four words. And the problem with every weak brand I have ever worked for is a brand manager with a diagram that looks like Leonardo Da Vinci conjured it up on acid.

And the even more direct:

Any moron can come up with 20 words to capture the essence of their brand. Only the good ones like Polet are smart enough to whittle it down to three.

Tight is right. Long is wrong.

It falls into one my my key tenants where message intersects with mission: Brand is what you do when you don't know who you are.

To that end, Ritson:

Every month I sit through a presentation from a marketing team who need 10 minutes and their overhead slides to explain their brand essence. Switch off the projector and ask them to continue unaided and your actions are met with blind panic.

Branding is just a set of tools for tactics. The soul of an organization lies elsewhere, and when you can find that, refine that and express it succinctly, now you have strategic thinking (and communication) that many confuse with "branding." Good brands, true to their nature brands, don't need that PowerPoint Ritson speaks of and instead just need three little words.

Hmm. Like the title of this post day, no?

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