Brad VanAuken

Brands that Harken Back to Simpler Times

by Brad VanAuken

Some people embrace change and even are the drivers of change. They are the visionaries. They are constantly thinking several steps ahead and imagining what could be. They are very comfortable with uncertainty and have no interest in clinging to the past. They can create order from seeming chaos. And many of them are happy […]

In a Way, It’s All the Same

by Brad VanAuken

I live in the world of brand promises and brand positioning. I help people determine their brand’s essence. And I help them determine their brand’s mission, vision and values. And their brand’s archetype and personality. Some consultants help people discover their brand’s “true north,” while others help people determine their brand’s mantra. One consultant I […]

Brand Management & Marketing Posts with the Most Shares

by Brad VanAuken

Here are my brand management and marketing posts that have been shared the most:When to Reposition a BrandTrademark LawSuccessful Advertising ApproachesGive the Gift of Brand AidIntegrating Brand Strategy with Business StrategyBrand StorytellingAutomobile Purchases and Self-Image ReinforcementMarket ResearchMaslow’s Hierarchy of NeedsBrand Architecture QuestionsSome of My Favorite TaglinesSmall Business Marketing TechniquesBrand Positioning is More Than a Tagline […]

Brand Management’s Rewards

by Brad VanAuken

I previously listed the business benefits of strong brands. Today, I want to talk about the intrinsic rewards of building strong brands. Strengthening brands creates better customer experiences. It can do this by improving products, customer services and a myriad of other things. Ultimately, thoughtful brand management will lead to an improved world. How does this […]

What do people want?

by Brad VanAuken

I had recently mentioned to a friend that one of the benefits of my job is learning what people really want. In my 35 year career as a marketer, I have conducted hundreds of customer research studies in a myriad of categories. When one conducts everything from depth interviews, focus groups, ethnographic studies and brand […]

Genesee Brewing Company

by Brad VanAuken

Just a few years ago, Genesee Brewing Company, New York State’s oldest brewery established in 1878, was on the brink of bankruptcy. That was before North American Breweries, and its parent, the Triple Bottom Line (economic, social, environmental) company Florida Ice & Farm Co. invested $70 million in the Genesee site over the past few years. It […]

Business Value Creation

by Brad VanAuken

Today, intangible assets are the dominant contributors to business value creation. Recognizing this, Cap Gemini Ernst & Young developed a rigorous, comprehensive model of business value creation called the value creation index. Its components include innovation, quality, customer relations, management capabilities, alliances, technology, brand value, employee relations, and environmental and community issues. Several of these […]

Shareholders Aren’t Your Only Stakeholders

by Brad VanAuken

When I was in undergraduate school, I recall my professors talking about the different stakeholder groups of businesses – customers, suppliers, employees, shareholders, the communities in which the businesses are embedded and the natural environment. Today, the almost universal mantra seems to be “maximize shareholder value,” indicating a singular focus on shareholders and profits. If […]

What Builds Brands Today

by Brad VanAuken

A few decades ago, brands were primarily built through compelling television, radio and magazine advertising. More recently, brands have been built through an almost uncountable number of media and channels. However, the real builder of brands today is the brand experience itself. Whether it is Amazon.com’s quick, easy and cost-effective way of finding retail goods […]

Brands and Dreams

by Brad VanAuken

Dreams are one way through which brand managers can make their brands highly desirable.Everyone has dreams. Some are childhood dreams. They can be dreams about what they want to be when they grow up. Maybe they want to be doctors or astronauts or college professors or basketball players or rock stars. They might dream about […]

Brands with Purpose

by Brad VanAuken

Fundamentally, most people want to make the world a better place – for themselves and others. The vast majority of us are not motivated to create pain and chaos, but rather to seek pleasure and happiness. And yet, too few of us find a way to achieve this in our work lives. Wise business leaders […]

United Airlines Just Can’t Get it Right

by Brad VanAuken

Physically removing a paying passenger from an overbooked flight is not good for the United brand, especially given that other passengers were capturing the whole incident on video, which can now be seen on YouTube. The correct response was not for the airline to claim it was right but instead to make things right. It would […]

United Airlines Just Can’t Get it Right

by Brad VanAuken

Physically removing a paying passenger from an overbooked flight is not good for the United brand, especially given that other passengers were capturing the whole incident on video, which can now be seen on YouTube. The correct response was not for the airline to claim it was right but instead to make things right. It would […]

Brand Strategy Workshop Errors

by Brad VanAuken

We conduct strategy formulation sessions or workshops on the following topics with our clients:Brand mission, vision & valuesBrand positioning and repositioningBrand architectureBrand extensionInside out brandingCustomer touch point designBrand storytellingBrand co-creation with customersPricing strategyDistribution strategyBrand planningI have personally conducted more than 400 of these workshops and I have also witnessed others conducting similar workshops for a […]

Brand Strategy Workshop Errors

by Brad VanAuken

We conduct strategy formulation sessions or workshops on the following topics with our clients:Brand mission, vision & valuesBrand positioning and repositioningBrand architectureBrand extensionInside out brandingCustomer touch point designBrand storytellingBrand co-creation with customersPricing strategyDistribution strategyBrand planningI have personally conducted more than 400 of these workshops and I have also witnessed others conducting similar workshops for a […]

Recent Popular Posts

by Brad VanAuken

Today, I thought I would share some more recent popular blog posts in case you missed them:Online Brand BuildingBrand ResearchBrand Management Issues SurveyBig Questions for Brand Management & MarketingNaming BrandsBrand PositioningHollow BrandsSimplified Brand Messaging

Recent Popular Posts

by Brad VanAuken

Today, I thought I would share some more recent popular blog posts in case you missed them:Online Brand BuildingBrand ResearchBrand Management Issues SurveyBig Questions for Brand Management & MarketingNaming BrandsBrand PositioningHollow BrandsSimplified Brand Messaging

Brand Positioning 501

by Brad VanAuken

What is brand positioning really? While it is conducted as a strategic exercise that includes a variety of components such as target customer, brand essence, brand promise, brand archetype and brand personality, it is much more than the sum of its components. It is all about making your brand relevant and emotionally compelling to people. […]

Brand Positioning 501

by Brad VanAuken

What is brand positioning really? While it is conducted as a strategic exercise that includes a variety of components such as target customer, brand essence, brand promise, brand archetype and brand personality, it is much more than the sum of its components. It is all about making your brand relevant and emotionally compelling to people. […]

Brands and Core Values

by Brad VanAuken

Some people identify with the Marlboro Man and his rugged independence. Others identify with the Horatio Alger story of rags to riches. Some people envision Mayberry RFD and its small town life. Some believe Ayn Rand got it right with her logical positivism philosophy. Others can much better relate to Mother Theresa. For some, it is […]