Lessons from Leading Brand Companies

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In you’re an entrepreneur building a brand, or taking a new look at your current brand given the changes in the environment, especially from competitors, you should read Allen Adamson’s The Edge: 50 Tips from Brands that Lead.

A few key points:

  • A Brand is not the same things as Branding. A Brand is what the name represents to people; it’s the picture and feeling that pops into people’s heads. Branding is the process by which this picture or feelings gets into someone’s head; it’s everything that communicates logically/emotionally what the brand stands for.
  • A brand must communicate how it is different from competitors, in a way that people care. This includes:
    • Differentiation – what makes the brand unique
    • Relevance – how meaningful this difference is to the people who matter
    • Esteem – how well regarded the brand is in the marketplace
    • Knowledge – how well consumers know and understand the brand
    • Energy – how dynamic the brand is in terns of its ability to adapt and evolve.
  • A brand is as a brand does. Tell people what a brand does through authentic, not gratuitous stories customers tell about it. The experience must align with the brand’s purpose to be credible.
  • For new products/services to gain a leading edge, the brand must represent to consumers something that they haven’t seen before and that they can really use
  • Brands address 4 questions: not only What it is and How it is used but Who uses it? and Why?
  • The more people understand the purpose of the Brand (Why?), the stronger the brand value will be.

These are only a few of the tips. How well does your brand walk the talk and get people to fully understand it’s purpose? What examples inspire you as you think about brands and focus on branding to increase its value? Share with us your experiences!