Last week, I started this new story arc on Branding. I gave my definition of Branding and I want to expand upon that before I get to using the 7 P’s to analyze it. As I said, your Brand is your Unique Value Proposition in the Eyes of Your Customers and Prospects.
The first thing that I hope you understand is that this means it is not the messaging that you project but the messaging that is received that is important. Imagine some brands that have a strong connection like BMW or Apple. If you think about them they evoke a feeling about the company. Now do the same with BP. You get a feeling but it is not positive.
This ought to tell you the first point of Sales as it relates to Branding. Sales and Branding are emotional first and logical second. This has been studied many times and is part of the reason that work very strongly on their Branding message in Marketing.
The problem with that view is that Branding does not stop with Marketing. It starts there, but does not end there. Everybody within the organization is responsible for Branding. Let me illustrate so you understand. Take a look at the BP logo. Did the Marketing team do a bad job on it? I don’t think so. It has good colors and a symbolism with a flower design. The BP Brand issue is most notably what happened in the Gulf of Mexico. That had nothing to do with Marketing. But it is the value that we connect to the BP Brand.
So Brand has a lot more to do with the Execution of your Mission and Vision than it does with Logos and Letterhead. The latter are important but it is Execution of your Business that controls the outcome. This means that you need to connect all your employees with your Brand. Everybody needs to know their part in the creation of your Brand.
Branding becomes a Whole Business affair because of this. This has 2 major implications. Your Brand’s value is created by what you do. Start-up Businesses need to have Branding to create awareness of what they do. But a Start-up Brand has no value until the customers receive the products and services. The second implication is that your Brand is not the exclusive purview of Marketing. The Business Owner needs to be in charge of the Brand. The Business Plan needs to build the Business according to the Brand. This is a 360 view of Branding.
Next week, we start with applying Branding to the 7 Ps.
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