Wednesday, March 28, 2012

One-dimensional branding

The problem with most people in branding is they tend to overcomplicate things.

It's easy to do. Brands are living breathing entities that evolve as our culture changes. They adapt as competition arises. And brands are made up of a sophisticated set of attributes, values, benefits, symbols and features.

Issues arise when marketers try to differentiate every aspect of their brand. They operate as if unless everything about the the brand is different – the promise, personality, look, feel, heritage, etc. – they won't be successful.

Pretty soon they have an unfocused product and a muddled message.

The best brands, however, differentiate along just one dimension. They own one thing that makes them unique and special.

Target differentiates with design while offering price, convenience, service and selection that matches Walmart.

Ben & Jerry's differentiates on personality while offering quality, flavor and variety equal to other super premium ice-cream brands.

BMW differentiates on performance while offering cars that are as safe, comfortable, efficient and stylish as any other in its category.

If you want a strong, successful brand, ask yourself this question: What's the one attribute of your brand can you accentuate and use to differentiate you from your competition in a way that's meaningful to your customers?

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