Category Archives: Branding Strategies

Rebranding the Wall Street Journal

The “new” Wall Street Journal debuted last week.

Hawkin’ newspapersIt features a broader editorial policy with increased “focus” on politics and international news, and on weekends, sports and culture.

I’ve blogged before about this transition. I think it a mistake.

Rupert Murdoch, the WSJ owner responsible for the redesign, wanted the Journal to compete with the New York Times rather than focus on its “traditional, pin-striped base,” according to Johnnie L. Roberts, a reporter for Newsweek. Continue reading Rebranding the Wall Street Journal

Brand Simple: Brand from the Heart

Yesterday I blogged about the abstraction ladder and concluded that the branding without abstractions delivers the strongest, most relevant and most endearing brands.

That brought to mind a book by Allen P. Adamson, Managing Director at Landor Associates. Its title: BrandSimple.

Here is a guy with all the resources, all the talent to produce the most elaborate high fashion, high tech materials for his clients recommending to these very sophisticated marketers to brand simple! Continue reading Brand Simple: Brand from the Heart

Hire a Copywriter as Brand Strategist

A good copywriter is a strategistSignificant branding value can be provided from an outstanding copywriter.

A copywriter with a strategic bent may identify an undiscovered differentiator within the product, organization or business practice. She’ll ask the right questions. Provide insight and perspective. Have an empathy and understanding of your prospects and their “triggers”. Then, connect strategy with effective tactics.

Now I’m not talking about a hack who writes the TV spots for your local car dealer. Continue reading Hire a Copywriter as Brand Strategist

Differentiate your brand by specializing

Specialized equipment does a better jobWhen thinking about the differentiator plank in your brand platform, consider specialization rather than breadth of product line.

Breadth of product line is not a very good differentiator for the same reasons price and quality aren’t good differentiators – they can all be copied by competitors. Even if you’re the first to establish a broad line, (i.e., a shampoo for every conceivable hair type and condition) other will not only follow but find additional types and conditions you hadn’t even thought of. Continue reading Differentiate your brand by specializing

Find a branding position you can own

A positioning plotFirst of all, that means a position no one else in your product category (or adjacent categories) has already occupied.

Once it’s some one else’s, a position can’t be yours no matter how many resources you throw into the fray. It’s just not worth trying to unseat a competitor from their established position. And even if you do manage to dilute your competitor’s claim to that position, you still don’t own it. You’ve just established your own diluted claim along with that of your competitor.

So how do you find your own position? Continue reading Find a branding position you can own

Brand differentiation: quality

Quality control personifiedJack Trout and Steve Rivkin in Differentiate or Die declare that quality is not a strong brand differentiator.

Why? Because others can achieve the level of quality enjoyed by the current quality leader given time and resources. Also, quality has become such an important factor for any product in any product category that quality has become a “given”. That doesn’t mean there are no poor quality offerings. It just means that customers buying reputable brands expect them to possess quality. Continue reading Brand differentiation: quality