Breaking brand myths

Breaking brand myths

Breaking brand myths

If you have been online for a long time, you have surely seen many "gurus" give their ideas about the brand. However, much of what you read is simply not true. Over the years, many brand myths have taken root in the online world and spread like wildfire. The fact is that they are doing you more harm than good.

Branding is not an aspect of your marketing campaign. It is the combination of everything that represents your business. The brand is not created with a single independent event, but is created over time through a series of strategically thought-out actions.

Let's take a few minutes to break down some common myths about branding and present constructive and proactive brand principles that you can build on.

Brand Myth #1: Your USP is your brand

Absolutely not. While your USP (Unique Selling Position) can be used to help convey your brand, it is not, in and of itself, your entire brand strategy.

Brand Principle #1: Your brand is all-encompassing

Your brand is built and transmitted with every action you take, with every product or service you offer, with every communication you send and with every contact you make with your customers.

Brand Myth #2: To be remembered, you must have a logo

It's not true either. Look at companies like Marlboro (cigarettes), Puffs (tissues), and Ziploc (plastic bags). They simply use a specialized font with the name of the product. No swirls, no images, no "logo". While logos are certainly not "bad," they're also not required.

Brand Principle #2: Customers remember you primarily for how you treat them

The most innovative logo, the most attractive colors and the best logo designer in the world will do you no good if you do not offer excellent service. Customers remember you and your company by the way they are treated. Was your shopping experience good? Were all your questions answered? Were your problems resolved to your satisfaction? These things go much further in helping customers remember you than any logo might expect.

Brand Myth #3: Once your brand strategy is in place, you don't need to do anything else

This is probably the biggest myth of all! Many online businesses believe that once they have an amazing USP and a snappy logo, they have achieved everything in the branding realm.

However, just the opposite is true. Your brand strategy is an ongoing process, not a one-time event. Defining your strategy is just one part of that process.

Here are some basic tips to help you define and implement your brand.

1. Decide how you want your customers to perceive you. Do you want to give an image of confidence? Loyalty? Confidence? Innovation? Wide choice? Fast service and delivery?

2. What makes YOU perceive other companies that way when you shop? Is it your selection? Customer service? Price? All previous?

3. Make a list of the qualities that you and your employees need to display to customers in order to represent your desired brand.

4. Share the list with everyone in your organization and ask them to develop specific ways they can support the brand.

5. Compile a final brand strategy and share it with everyone in your organization.

Successful brands are those that are well defined and supported by the entire organization. Myth-based brands are those that simply have a fancy logo, a "killer" USP, and the hope that the customer will "get" it.

Would you rather base your brand on solid principles or myths? It's what I thought!