Friday, June 7, 2013

The simple truth of branding

When this article appeared in my Linked In news feed yesterday, of course I had to read it.

While it's nice that they did the legwork, there's nothing new here.

If you've read the works of David Ogilvy, Reis & Trout, David Aaker, and Seth Godin, you know that strong brands are not built upon functional benefits alone.

If you've observed how Nike, Apple and Harley-Davidson have created cult-like communities around their brands, you know that you have to go deeper than just a "like."

Great brands not only connect emotionally with their users, they say something important about them as well.

I may be a 53-year old desk jockey, but when I lace up my Nike's, I'm an athlete.

I don't know a thing about computers, but Apple lets me create things and connect in ways I never dreamed possible by creating technology I can use.

I don't have a single tattoo, but when I ride a Harley people wonder just a bit if there isn't something a little dangerous about me.

That's how you build a brand to last; on a foundation of deep human truths and desires. Then delivering consistently, first in the product, continuing all the way through communications and experiences. 

Obviously, it's not easy. But the path to great branding is not a new one. Even with all the new media available to us, we don't need to waste our time reinventing our craft. 

We only need to get better at it.

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