Category Archives: Branding

Brand Platform: competitive factors

Take a competitive stanceA major component of a brand platform is an identification and analysis of your competition.

First off, identifying competition isn’t as easy as it might seem, particularly if you’ve developed a newly-conceived product or service. You’re first reaction is, “I don’t have any competitors”. But this just isn’t true. Continue reading Brand Platform: competitive factors

Blogging Is Branding: a novel idea

Blogging is BrandingI get around the web a lot thanks to Google Alerts.

And I ran into this blog and took the liberty of reproducing the writer’s first paragraph. I invite you to then follow the link to read the rest of it. The blog is called Marketing Tools for Authors, Writers and Entrepreneurs.

I quote…”Blogging is branding. Branding allows your audience to see your expertise through your own unique blogging personality. It also shows your business’ uniqueness in the market place and clearly demonstrates how you are different from your competitors. The value of blogging…” Click here to read the entire Blogging is Branding post.

I had never thought of blogging as branding. I have incorporated blogging into my arsenal of branding elements as another form to carry the message. And of course I’ve thought about branding my blog. But the concept of blogging being branding, well it’s fresh and food for thought.

Martin Jelsema

Helping to salvage the Sears brand

I’ve blogged a couple of times about Sears and its troubles. Even though I’m oriented toward small business branding, I feel qualified to at least offer my opinion and a little advice to this beleaguered retailer.

According to Thom Forbes in a Wall Street Journal article last month, “Retail experts say it is now clear that Sears Holdings chairman Edward S. Lampert must engineer a radical makeover of the 121-year-old retailer to prove it can thrive alongside bigger rivals … such as Kohl’s, J.C. Penney, Target and Wal-Mart. Continue reading Helping to salvage the Sears brand

KFC: rebranding is futile

A loyal KFC patronScanning the Marketing Daily e-letter, Around the Net, an article originating in The Wall Street Journal yesterday caught my eye.

It began with some de ja vu.

The headline stated, “KFC Will Feature Non-Fried Chicken As Part Of Makeover“.

I thought they did that when they changed the name from Kentucky Fried Chicken. Here are a couple of paragraphs from the article by Thom Forbes to set the stage:  Continue reading KFC: rebranding is futile

Developing branding for referrals: the N.U.D.E. Model in action

Scott Degraffenreid, in his book, Embracing the N.U.D.E. Model: The New Art and Science of Referral Marketing, speaks about the attributes of effective referral marketing.

The N.U.D.E. Model for referral brandingHis NUDE model speaks to four attributes of a business or brand that generate almost all referrals: Novelty and Utility, Dependability and Economy. Tension exists in both of those pairs.

Scott believes a balance of all four are required to establish a “Tipping Point” ( a score of 315 out of 400), and that the tension of the paired attributes are important to establish high scores. (These scores are derived through solid statistical manipulation of very large databases that Scott doesn’t even attempt to explain in his book.

From a branding standpoint, the most important consideration is this: the service must be easy for people (advocates and early adaptors) to explain to their associates (members of their networks). Branders need to make referrers appear authoritative so referrers will look good and be thanked (even praised) for their astuteness and benevolence in referring the service.

It is really the tension between novelty and utility that will generate “buzz” and referrals. Brand on the side of novelty, and them make sure your messaging contains strong utility-oriented copy that people can remember and pass along to balance the novelty of  the brand.

Then, rather than attempting to claim both dependability and economy, position the brand with emphasis on one of them as a “partner” to the product’s novelty. It is likely you will lose some credibility by claiming both attributes for the same product.

So as the brander, make the offering crystal clear by using brand signals and messaging that position the service as different (novel) and better (utility) while secondarily claiming dependability.

Martin Jelsema

Consider investors and the media when developing your brand platform

 Finishing up on the stakeholder groups that might affect you brand, I’ll just touch on two: media and investors.

Media forms have changed, but not the needTo include these in a brand platform (aka the brand-building blueprint), usually involves no more than making sure the brand does not violate a principle of investor or media relations.

Therefore at minimum, the platform needs to be reviewed by your PR and investor relations personnel for problems and issues.

In an ideal situation, those functions should probably be represented in the platform formulation process early on. Their inputs may save time and effort later, and their new perspective might produce some branding strategy nuances that can strengthen the brand as a whole. Continue reading Consider investors and the media when developing your brand platform