Branding is More than an Advertising Campaign

The process of creating your brand is the engine that will ultimately drive your ability to deliver and sustain it.

Often marketers focus first on developing a campaign to define and communicate the brand without developing the relationships that bring the brand to life. Many consecutive steps are necessary. Here I offer ten, all beginning with "C." Note that "Campaign" is #8.
1. Collaborate. Engage people across your organization to "birth" or "adopt" the brand. They will become the proud parents who protect and nurture it.
2. Consider. Your brand is NOT merely about your organization. Consider others first and get them involved. How do your various constituents perceive you? What exactly do you offer them? How does that compare to other choices they can make? What do they need, feel, expect, feel, want or hope for?
3. Capture. In light of your constituents' viewpoints, dig deep to capture the unique truth of how your culture, services and aspirations meet your constituents' needs, thoughts and emotions.
4. Clarify. Work together to distill your organization's unique truth into simple and inspiring ideas, words and visuals.
5. Communicate. Share your discoveries with all branding collaborators in a way that they will make them their own. Then, don't merely inculcate the brand internally with meetings, posters and guidelines. Infuse your brand throughout your organization. Give communications materials to collaborators and send them out to interact.
6. Cultivate. Nurture and grow the brand with your internal and closest external constituents until it blossoms. Then it will be bright, fragrant and ready to be delivered.
7. Coordinate. Solicit staff ideas about how they can "be the brand." Coordinate their actions, turn them loose and keep them going.
8. Campaign. Now you can promote your active and sustainable brand with a carefully crafted and segmented campaign.
9. Continue. Keep strengthening the relationships among the original brand collaborators and those who most enthusiastically embrace it. Keep your campaign consistent, but always relevant and fresh. 
10. Calculate. Powerful branding requires careful planning. Think ahead five or more years and calculate how to get there. Go back to step one. Branding never ends.
—Tom DeSanto
Image: David Friedman,   

1 comment:

Spencer said...

great article. Strategy first, design second. The only way to successfuly build a brand.