Your brand name is one of the most powerful brand signals that you can own. However, many people make the mistake of trying to articulate their brand before they have fully defined it, often choosing a name without considering differentiation, longevity, phonetics and trademark-ability. Your brand name is more than just a word. While the brand name is not the brand itself, it is a core signal that consumers directly equate to the brand. The name provides tangibility to an otherwise intangible concept by allowing your audience to identify and differentiate your brand from others by capturing and communicating your brand’s promise. Unless you know what you’re trying to communicate, you may end up mixing your signals.
Economic slowdown, recession, depression, call it what you will. A bad economy affects everyone. When times are tight, the bottom line is dictated by the sense of value consumers place in your brand, or more precisely, how much they are willing to pay for that value. Both the value perceived by consumers and actual shareholder value are strongly influenced by brand. Brand can drive growth in an up market or protect the company’s value in a down market. One of the most important, but often overlooked aspects of a recession is the insecurity consumers experience. As consumers feel the pinch, they begin to search for change. Companies need to focus on actions that take advantage of the opportunities that change brings. Branding in a recession is all about investing in consumer retention and attraction.
When a brand begins to lose its market share, its parent company is faced with the difficult decision of harvesting the brand or revitalizing it before it fades from store shelves and consumers’ minds. It’s often more effective to breathe new life into a failing brand than to harvest its value, sell it off, or launch a new brand from scratch. The key to resurrecting these heritage brands lies in the untapped value locked within their histories. What made these brands great years ago was often based on their functional, rational benefit. Today, if a heritage brand is to remain relevant it must express emotional benefits. These nine brand drivers: Story, Authenticity, Ritual, Icons, Community, Specialization, Lore, Language, and Rivalry are each keys to unlocking the value trapped within your heritage brand.
Many people frequently misuse the term “brand” by interchanging it with advertising, marketing, naming or design. These improper applications have caused much confusion as to what branding is and how it works. Business consultancies, marketing companies, advertising agencies, public relations firms and graphic/web design studios each define brand within their own frame of reference and expertise. As such, “branding” has become a bit of a buzz word. But, what does it really mean and how does it work? Where did all start and how can it create value? To benefit from the effects of branding, a common understanding of “brand” must first be established.