Lafayette’s Biggest, Oldest and Hippest Marketing Agency Offers Tips to Grow Your business
3 Things Great Branding Firms Don’t Want You to Do
Inevitably, though, in business—just like in sports—success can change a competitor. It can breed complacency and lull champions into taking for granted that just because “we’re at the top of the mountain, we’ll stay here.”
But the greats never stop competing. And they never lose sight of three big-brand pitfalls that are otherwise bound to happen.
That’s why, at idc when our clients start seeing the top of the mountain, we always warn them. . . .
1. Don’t Tell Your Market What to Do.
Remember when Google told the world that we can no longer use the name Google as a verb unless we’re literally referring to the use of the Google search engine?
In other words, if you say you “Googled it,” when you actually used Yahoo. . . . Well, that’s a problem. And don’t think Google doesn’t know who you are or where you live. As an added plus, here are Ten Things You Didn’t Know Google Now Could Do in an excellent post by @.
Problem is, for all of Google’s massive influence and power, they cannot transcend the truth that their market is always bigger than they are.
Here’s where Google got it wrong—you can’t fight the market. And when the market uses your name as a generic, replace-all term for your category, maybe instead of fighting it, you find a way to use all the free advertising.
“Can you Xerox® this for me?”
“Go in the medicine cabinet, and get me a Band-Aid.®”
“This blog makes me want to keep a box of Kleenex® handy.”
This means the company owns its category. Why would you want to mess with that?
2. Don’t Put Your Name on Everything.
A great branding firm knows: in a world of ever-expanding multinational companies, the top name may not mean beans to the brand.
Sony made the original walkman. Now, they make the PlayStation and own a movie studio. But did you know Sony owns Sony Biotechnology Inc., which provides quality products and innovative solutions to the global flow cytometry market? I don’t even know what that is. Sony also owns Micronics, Inc., a leading developer of near-patient in vitro diagnostic products for disease diagnosis, prognosis, and treatment monitoring. In many cases, Sony’s name is at the top of its business. Sometimes it’s not.
Contrast that with Procter & Gamble. No one confuses Old Spice® deodorant with Duracell® batteries or Tide® laundry detergent. Each is a strong brand and carries the P&G ownership on the back label—not on the front.
Why not? This makes it easier to sell as a whole business unit. P&G sold off its Pringles® potato chips to Kellogg. Would the Pringles sale have happened if it were trying to move its Procter & Gamble® brand potato chips?
Another branding truth: The stronger the focus, the stronger the brand. If you spread the name out to cover too many products, the name weakens. If you stand for everything, you stand for nothing.
3. Don’t Forget—the Customer Is Always Right.
We’ve all had bad customer service. Sometimes you take it, sometimes it drives you to the competitor and sometimes you learn from it.
Some pretty large companies get customer service all wrong. Is your cable company one of them? Is it the cattle-drive and dismissive manner in which some airlines treat you?
When these things happen to us, take a look at the person you are dealing with. They are on the front lines, representing a living, breathing embodiment of that company’s brand.
Regardless, no matter how big you get—remember that the brand that invests in the front lines of its customer relationships will not be the next cable company or airline.
This Also Translates to Staying “Small” If You Want to Grow
By small, I mean humble—no matter how successful you become.
Before your brand gets too big for its britches, look around to make sure you have a strong brand foundation in place for your brand, your focus and your customer service. Otherwise, you risk completely losing your audience.
Looking for a great branding firm to build a strong, competitive brand? From branding to digital to traditional marketing, we are always interested in helping you grow!
Founded in 1972, idc-marketing is the most consistently successful branding firm in Lafayette, Indiana. We are a full-service agency that helps companies grow business-to-business (B2B) and consumer-to-business (B2C) market share.