I have helped many organizations build their brands from the inside out for over fifteen years. In the process, I have learned what is critical to the success of those endeavors.1) RIGHT RESEARCH-INFORMED PROMISE: Your brand’s promise must be based upon customer, competitor and internal insight. This can be achieved through qualitative and quantitative research […]

With the advent of social media and big data analytics, an amazing amount of information has now been amassed on most consumers. The trick is to know how to use that data to achieve organizational goals. Marketers’ standing in organizations has the potential to increase significantly if they are able to successfully tap into this […]

Not being consistent in what the brand stands for. Often, a brand’s management does not have the discipline to stick to one message over time. The message changes frequently depending on the audience, the issue of the moment and what competitors are saying.Not standing for anything. Often, organizations grow through mergers and acquisitions. Sometimes, the […]

I find myself relying on Angie’s List more and more when choosing home contractors. Consumer’s Reports helps me decide on what appliances to purchase.  When I am approached by a not-for-profit organization for a donation, I research the organization on Charity Navigator first. When choosing lodging, I rely on Trip Advisor. And when choosing restaurants, […]

Brand valuation is just what the term implies – it assigns a monetary value to the brand. This helps people understand that a brand is an asset that must be managed and protected. Brand valuation can transform CFOs into brand advocates. It is also useful in M&A situations. Many companies’ valuations far exceed the sum […]

Facilitating a one-day brand-positioning workshop seems to flow easily for me and it often seems effortless to the workshop participants. But don’t confuse this with an easy task.  Just because something appears to be effortless doesn’t mean it requires little to no skill. It often requires quite the opposite. Some clients recognize this while others […]

“We thought we’d update the logo a little.” “It’s not a new tagline. It’s just a catchy phrase that we are using instead of the tagline.” “We thought the icon would make a great decorative element.” “We are thinking about creating a new name for the organization.” “We developed a new product so we created […]

Often, we are retained when a new CEO comes on board and changes the direction of his or her company and its products and services. As a part of that effort, the CEO asks the CMO to initiate a rebranding effort to communicate the change in direction.  In this way, the rebranding effort supports substantive […]

Brand perceptions are much more often created by the product or service experience itself than from marketing communication. Marketing communication is much more effective in building brand awareness than it is in creating or changing brand perceptions.  That is not to say that marketing communication cannot be used to help change perceptions, but it can’t […]

How does your brand make people feel? Does it make them feel safer or more secure? Is it reassuring? Does it make them feel more in control? More confident? Does your brand make them feel sophisticated or sexy? Do they feel as though they are making a difference in the world by purchasing and using […]

We have helped scores of companies with brand architecture issues. More often than one might think, we are approached by a division of a much larger company for help with its division-level brand architecture. Sometimes there are three or four levels of branding with numerous brands or sub-brands at each level. Knowing that consumers can […]

Companies have used everything from sidewalks (ads written in chalk), walls above men’s room urinals, and posters on bulletin boards, to the sides of trucks and buses, athlete’s clothes, and crop art (images created by plowing fields in certain patterns). A German company is now printing advertising messages on toilet paper. Evian funded the repair of a run-down pool in […]

Brand Manager CompetenciesStrong ability to influence behaviors and perceptions withoutformal authorityRespected throughout the organizationStrong written and verbal persuasion skillsAdequate analytical skillsCustomer research experienceStrong intuition about human behavior and motivationGood project management skillsBrand Manager Responsibilities Identify, refine, the brand’s “unique value proposition.”Monitor, measure, and manage brand equity/strength.Increase brand awareness, relevant differentiation, value,accessibility, and emotional connection.Develop brand […]

Here is what I would want a brand manager in my marketing department to know:What a brand isThe benefits strong brands deliver to organizationsThe brand management processWhat leads to customer brand insistenceWhat contributes to brand loyaltyWhat helps brands connect emotionally to their customersHow to conduct a brand auditHow to measure brand equityHow to measure the […]

Since 1999, I have helped well over 160 brands. They represent at least a third as many product/service categories. When being considered for a project, I am often asked, “Have you done work in XYZ category?” “Ours is a different category. We are only interested in consultants with experience in our category.” I have had […]

I have helped organizations position their brands through consensus building brand positioning workshops since the mid-1990s.  As a part of that process, I have the workshop participants (mostly organizational leaders) select the brand personality attributes for which they want their brands to stand.The organizations with which I have worked span a wide range of sizes […]

For the past ten years, when conducting brand education workshops, I have often included a “branding water” case study. The point of the case study is to illustrate that anything can be branded successfully, even commodities. Hundreds of teams from dozens of countries have presented their recommendations on this topic. Most of the recommendations had […]

Brands that really understand consumers and their needs and desires are more likely to succeed, especially if they are able to successfully fulfill these needs and desires. So what do people want?People want to be safe. They want to be free to pursue their dreams. They want to be accepted by others. They want to […]

Trade dress is a brand’s distinctive aesthetic design features (package or product design). To be protectable, trade dress must be nonfunctional and distinctive (or have acquired a “secondary meaning,” that is, source-identifying characteristics). The more nonfunctional differentiating features one can build into a product and its packaging, the more likely it will be that infringement can be proved.It is easy […]

This is the process of analyzing large amounts of unstructured or semistructured data of various types across different sources to identify patterns and correlations that could provide better targeting, additional revenue opportunities, and other competitive advantages. Some uses of big data include:More in-depth and precise business understandingImproved customer relationship management (CRM) campaignsOptimized segmenting of customersImproved market trends and analysisRecognition […]