Brad VanAuken

Changing Brand Perceptions

by Brad VanAuken

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 […]

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Brand Research: A Must for Brand Repositioning

by Brad VanAuken

Many organizations looking to reposition their brands are reluctant to conduct the necessary customer research at the beginning of the brand repositioning process. They will say, “We conduct ongoing customer satisfaction research,” or “We do product research quite frequently” or “We measured our brand’s equity five years ago” or “We talk with our customers all […]

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Aligning Brand Values With Customer Values

by Brad VanAuken

A business associate recently asked me what I mean when I say that brands can connect with people on a values level. Here are the examples that I shared with him to illustrate the concept. “The strongest companies/brands often connect with their customers on a values level.”

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Stand for Something

by Brad VanAuken

Brands that stand for something connect with customers on an emotional level. Does your brand scream status? Does it value generosity? Is it elegant and refined? Does it care about the environment?

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University Branding

by Brad VanAuken

At least two universities are on to something big in their brand positioning: my alma mater, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and American University. Both focus on their students’ and prospective students’ aspirations. Rensselaer chose the tagline, “why not change the world?SM” as its service mark in the late 1990s. The tagline reflects the university’s intention to […]

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Top Ten Branding Considerations for 2011

by Brad VanAuken

Learn everything about your customers. Understand them at a deep level. Know what motivates them. Know what they aspire to and what they fear. Stand for something important to your customers. Let them know that you share their values.

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A Brand is Trustworthy

by Brad VanAuken

Over the years, we have conducted brand equity measurement studies for hundreds of brands and over the years, we have also helped leadership teams position hundreds of brands. What is the number one quality that people look for in brands? – Trustworthiness. What is the number one quality that management teams want to build into […]

Beverly Hills – The Brand

by Brad VanAuken
Beverly HIlls Logo

The city of Beverly Hills, CA is launching its own line of perfumes as a first step in turning its trademarked shield logo into a brand. See Beverly Hills Perfume for details. I think it is an interesting concept for a city to reinforce is most powerful positive associations by launching related products under its […]

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Brand Rankings

by Brad VanAuken
Apple Computer Logo

Brand rankings remind me of college rankings. (I worked as a college admissions volunteer leader for years.) Each ranking entity establishes its own ranking based on its own criteria weighted in its own way. Some focus on overall rankings, while others focus on rankings within certain categories. The rating entities jockey for brand position just […]

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Creating an Overarching Brand Position for Your Municipality

by Brad VanAuken
Rochester Skyline. Photo by Andy Olenick

As anyone involved with branding municipalities knows, there are three primary audiences for municipalities – residents, businesses and tourists. (There are other audiences as well, but for the sake of simplicity, I will focus on these audiences in this article.)

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