Brad VanAuken

Brand Management & Marketing Issues Survey

by Brad VanAuken

Please share what your most pressing brand management & marketing issues are by taking our survey here.

The Gestalt of Branding

by Brad VanAuken

Are you responsible for marketing your brand? If so, you probably do one or more of the following to promote your brand:Television advertisingRadio advertisingPrint advertisingDigital advertisingOutdoor advertisingUnusual media advertising (sidewalks, busses, sandwich boards, etc.)Collateral materialsDirect mailWebsiteContent strategyEmail newslettersBlogsSocial media interactionSearch engine optimization (SEO)White papersPublic relationsPitching stories to news outletsPublicity stuntsOther proactive publicityConferences, events and ralliesContestsMembership […]

Mass Appeal vs. Niche Brands

by Brad VanAuken

It is important for every enterprise to identify and even anticipate consumer needs and then satisfy them. The more solid the product or service, the larger market share one is likely to achieve. Today, I want to talk about the difference between mass appeal brands and niche brands. I will use hotels as the example product […]

Brand Identity for the 21st Century

by Brad VanAuken

Brand identity management is a key component of brand management. The number of brand identity firms and graphic design firms that create identity systems and logos are practically countless, though their capabilities typically vary widely. Traditionally, brand identity systems have included one or more of the following:NameGraphic mark, emblem, symbol or iconTypefontsColor paletteTagline/sloganSubrands, endorsed brands […]

Brands & Positive Emotions

by Brad VanAuken

Research has shown that positive emotions and especially social connectedness leads to increased health. Kindness and compassion and the sense of belonging all contribute to positive health. In her book, Positivity, Dr. Barbara Fredrickson says that data shows that negative emotions, such as fear, can close down our ability to function, whereas positive emotions open […]

La Posada Hotel

by Brad VanAuken

“Well, I’m a standin’ on a corner in Winslow, ArizonaSuch a fine sight to seeIt’s a girl, my Lord, in a flat-bed FordSlowin’ down to take a look at me”Take it Easy by the EaglesMy wife an I are on on two-week Grand Circle tour of the National Parks in Arizona and Utah. We started […]

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 […]