Like the law of gravity, principles have always existed. They are always in force whether you choose to recognize them or not. And they will affect the outcome of all efforts whether or not you intend them too.
In this world of marketing change, there are three branding principles that you might want to consider as immutable, unchanging laws. And since they don’t change, you should consider how you can use them to your advantage in your b-to-b communications.
Principle 1: Your customers and prospects own the brand. Companies own brand assets.
They own it because each one of them puts the brand together for themselves in their minds and hearts based on all the information, impressions, interactions and experiences they have with the brand. Companies have a vision of where they want their brand to go, but customers and prospects are the ones who will allow the brand to go there or not.
Principle 2: Value is based on buying criteria of customers and prospects. No value exists unless a brand is chosen in a purchase or situation.
Whether you like it or not, in this new world where customers and prospects control information, communication, value definition and the buying process, they own the brand to a degree they never have before. Value is in the purchase. Brands have value only if customers and prospects are willing to favor them over other brands in a purchase or use situation.
Principle 3: Branding must be distinctive, yet deliverable.
You have to stand for something unique in people’s minds, but you also have to keep your promises. And if you don’t, your credibility will be stretched thinner than the elastic in Rosanne Barr’s G-string. As you deliver your brand to the marketplace, remember that a powerful brand is the internalized sum of all impressions received by customers and prospects. Don’t let your distinctiveness be the fact you don’t deliver a positive brand experience.
Or in trying to defy gravity, you may hit your revenue stream with a resounding, painful belly flop.
For more information on business-branding, please check out the Mobium e-book called Brandwith.
Belly flop: flickr.com/photos/29901781@NO2