There is of course no miracle branding formula or model that always
works for everyone, but here I will present you with the essential
contents, elements and traits that define a brand on a long term
basis. I will present you with resources pertaining to accepted and
proven branding models.
First, a definition of "brand," from investorwords.com
An identifying symbol, words, or mark that distinguishes a product or
company from its competitors. Usually brands are registered
(trademarked) with a regulatory authority and so cannot be used freely
by other parties. For many products and companies, branding is an
essential part of marketing.
Lets begin by examining an article on branding:
If there's no brand, there's no business, By John R. Graham
[ http://www.media3pub.com/usbank/articles/nobrand.html ].
The main points from this article may be summarized as follows:
1. Branding is about certain customers, not all customers. What you
and I want to sell doesnt count; all thats important is what someone
wants to buy.
2. Branding has to do with what customers think about when they think
of a company, product or service. What do consumers think about when
they see Perdue chicken in the supermarket? Some may think better
quality, while others may think more expensive. Perdue has
distinguished its chicken products in terms of the way its chickens
are raised so that they have less fat and are more tender. Those are
the qualities that the consumer pays for when buying a Perdue product.
3. Branding is about everything a company does. Although some see
branding in more simplistic terms, it is an inordinately complex
function. It involves everything from the way the telephone is
answered to the design of the logo.
4. Branding depends on constant care and nurturing. Protecting the
brand may be the most difficult task of all, and one that has been
made even more daunting by the Internet, where nothing is hidden. If
theres a problem with a product, everyone knows about it instantly.
The next example considers the branding of the Google name. From [
It's simply the "I'm your friend" branding strategy on a huge scale.
More from the above site on the Im Your Friend branding strategy:
Go to any South Florida retirement community, and you'll most likely
find a dozen or so ex-convicts using the "I'm your friend" approach to
con elderly folks out of their life savings. This is one reason most
big businesses avoids using this branding strategy - because it is an
integral part of every confidence scheme.
So should we abandon the strategy altogether because of its
association with ex convicts? No! Definitely not. It's works. As long
as it works, it should be considered viable.
"Like a good neighbor, State Farm is there.®"
It worked for state farm. It works for con men. It worked brilliantly
Consider the possible drawbacks of the Im Your Friend branding
The major drawback in this strategy is its limited demographic appeal,
and its potential for backlash
One last excerpt form the article:
Google Branding Strategy
Google has perfectly executed a branding strategy which has proven to
be one of the most brilliantly effective branding strategies witnessed
The Google Brand
Brand-wise, Google enjoys an unsullied image that sparkles cleaner
than Coca Cola, Pepsi, Ford, Gap and AT&T combined. In an article
published on Advertising Age, Randall Rothenberg named Google CEO Eric
Schmidt as the most powerful media executive. Just a few months back,
Google beat out Starbucks, Apple Computer, and Coca Cola to claim
BrandChannel.com's Brand Of The Year title.
A recent study by Brand Keys revealed the obvious: Google is #1 of all
Internet brands for brand loyalty. If you've ever been online, the
irrational and almost fanatic brand loyalty of Google fans is hard to
miss. In several forums, from Doug Heil's IHelpYou Services Forums to
Brett Tabke's WebmasterWorld.com, questioning Google's moral
superiority can result in emotionally-charged name-calling and abuse.
The next example , from
[http://www.clickz.com/tech/lead_edge/article.php/832211 ], considers
branding for e- companies, as in e-commerce, and advises to
de-emphasize the e- and focus more on the products and services
Knocking off the "e" can work -- really well. We need to know where
the customers are and what they're doing, then interact with them at
all touch points.
How can you pull this off when crafting your marketing strategies?
Forget about the technology. Really. Wipe the "e" from your mind. The
technology tail shouldn't be wagging the brand dog. Instead, identify
your customers, figure out all the places where they come into contact
with your brand, determine the situations where you wish they had
contact with your brand, identify the media that can best communicate
your messages at those points, and then execute a strategy that
delivers your messages at these points.
The next site (that of Chadwick Communications, L.L.C.) offers an
interesting Test Your Branding IQ interactive Flash quiz, which
attempts to have the user understand the various elements that go into
branding (note: you must have a (free) Macromedia Flash Player
installed on your system to see the site as intended--you can download
it free here: [ http://www.macromedia.com/shockwave/download/download.cgi?P1_Prod_Version=ShockwaveFlash&P5_Language=English
[ http://chadwickcomm.com/brandiq/ ].
After you take the quiz at http://chadwickcomm.com/brandiq/ (which
takes less than 5 minutes), the correct Answers are displayed along
with a detailed explanation and real-life corporate example.
After submitting my e-mail address when taking the quiz, they e-mailed
me the following:
Thanks for taking our Branding IQ Test. Now, for the real test.
Does your organization speak and act with one voice? What would your
Ask for your complimentary copy of BreakThrough, our insider's look at
how to align what you say and do with what your market wants and is
willing to pay for.
Your password for your complimentary copy of BreakThrough is: iq
Click on this brochure image now, or call me at 212.251.0555
and ask for extension 223
Inside BreakThrough, you'll see why branding isn't just about neat
logos,snappy names or clever ads. It's about everything you do to
fulfill the promise of a superior user experience.
What makes us experts? We're a brand strategy and development firm
with a record of helping entrepreneurial leaders build value for their
companies. These include Microsoft, ESPN and a host of others eager to
capitalize on what works.
Take the first step. Get everyone not merely on the same page, but on
the right page. Click on BreakThrough.
Moving on, the next link considers branding models that were
pre-internet, models of today, and models of tomorrow (from
Here are the salient points from the article:
In pre-Internet times, marketing professionals used mass distribution
and mass media to spread untargeted messages. Money was spent on
sending out a blizzard of press releases and transmitting ads that
failed to take the audience into account. The concepts of "targeting"
and "positioning" reigned supreme.
Messages are directed to targeted audiences through a variety of
means, including Web sites, e-mail and advertising. "Branding" has
become a popular concept. Whether or not those messages are well
received can be better measured. Customers have more access to
information and play a greater part in the decision-making process.
Wireless applications will play an increasingly important role, with
advertisers able to provide such highly focused messages as discount
coupons offered to a customer walking by a department store. The
recipients of this anytime, anywhere marketing could be expected to
use e-mail filtering and caller ID to shield themselves from unwanted
Heres a link to an article entitled, The Domino Theory of Branding,
by Steve Bustin:
Brand advertising -- more than call to action, click-me-baby banners
and buttons -- needs a sustainable visual burned into your
consciousness. Branding needs rich media advertising. And rich media
advertising needs bandwidth. According to Jupiter, the most formidable
obstacles to a wider adoption of rich media advertising are perceived
viewer objections and lack of bandwidth."
The article goes on to give internet-based branding examples:
The Internet has always been and always will be a direct response
vehicle, but so it is with branding. How did you first become aware of
Amazon.com? Was it by surfing for rivers formed during the Paleolithic
Period or perhaps did a friend tell you about this great book site?
Were you looking for tall women or did you notice (and remember) a
banner for a company with the seemingly unrelated name selling books?
Branding has been a part of the Internet since commercialization
The article concludes with the theory that as internet bandwith
increases, rich media ads will also increase, which will lead to
As bandwidth increases so will rich media ads, already shown to be
more effective than traditional banners as well as TV ads in terms of
viewer retention (branding!). Again, rich media ads are expected to be
30 percent of a projected $7.2 billion online ad spend in 2002, and
much of that will be due to B and B, bandwidth and branding. The more
bandwidth, the more rich media ads, the more rich media ads, the more
Call it the online branding domino theory if you wish.
The following article is to the HTML version an in-depth white paper
entitled, The Branding Power of Advertising On-line: Theory &
Here is a link to the .pdf version:
Next is a link to a table which lists the 10 points of the Kinetic
Theory of Branding (from formulaPR.com):
Ill list the short description of the 10 points of the Kinetic Theory
of Branding here for your convenience, but see the link for the full,
1. BE FIRST TO MARKET
2. BE DIFFERENT
3. BE CONSISTENT
4. BE FOCUSED
5. BE BRAND SENSITIVE
6. BE TRUE TO THE BRAND
7. BE COURAGEOUS
8. BE SMART
9. BE CREATIVE
10. BE SUBSTAINABLE
The following link is to a good book on branding theory, entitled,
The Brand Gap: How to Bridge the Distance Between Business Strategy
Heres an excerpt from the sites description of the book
Neumeier presents the first unified theory of branding -- a set of
five disciplines to help companies bridge the gap between brand
strategy and brand execution. Those with a grasp of branding will be
inspired by what they find here, and those who would like to
understand it better will suddenly "get it." This deceptively simple
book offers everyone in the company access to "the most powerful
business tool since the spreadsheet."
"Finally, a book that cuts to the heart of what brand is all about --
connecting the rational and the emotional, the theoretical and the
practical, the logical and the magical to create a sustainable
competitive advantage. Everyone in the company should read this book,
not just the three people with 'brand' in their titles." --Susan
Rockrise, Worldwide Creative Director, Intel
Heres KLM Inc.s Theory of Branding, from
1. Create an identity that stands for a set of values.
2. Emblazon your product(s) or service(s) with it.
3. Communicate it consistently.
4. Grow and change with the marketplace and the consumer.
5. Become a way of life for a loyal franchise of customers and
6. Attract new users and grow unendingly.
Next is a link to an article: Strategy & Positioning Theory Briefing
Paper: Branding: Depth, Not Breadth!", from:
Heres an excerpt from the above article:
The trick is understanding the lower half of the Hourglass Method.
Quite simply, a brand should start out on one position and then build
a hierarchy of supporting attributes. This is similar to developing a
character in a novel. The main character might be positioned as the
"evil villain", but then the author builds upon this positioning by
adding supporting attributes such as "vicious, self-hating, cruel".
Depth of character helps to fill out the brand, giving it more
credibility. However, a brand can easily loose focus if breadth of
character is built. If an "evil villain" starts to act out of
character, choosing to be a "nice guy", his credibility as a "villain"
is shot. The objective of building a strong brand is to find a good
position and then go deeper, not wider.
Gillette is an excellent example of a brand that built depth, not
width. Gillette has built its reputation on the word "close". It went
deeper by developing the twin blade which shaves "closer" and then the
triple blade which shaves even "closer". The Mach3 has become the #1
blade, giving Gillette 70.7% of the U.S. market share, the highest
since 1962. Gillette understands the difference between brand depth
As further information, here is a link to a site (i.t.e.r.n.i.a.)
devoted to e-branding:
[ http://www.iternia.com/value_sharing/e_branding.htm ].
Next, from clickz.com, see this article entitled M-Branding:
[ http://www.clickz.com/brand/brand_mkt/article.php/827561 ].
What if you could use only one color (say black on a green
background), you had no scope for graphics, and the consumer was
paying for every second it took for you to send him or her a
Welcome to the new world of m-branding. Now, more than ever,
creativity and discipline are needed for preparing a branding
platform. Why? Because everything is telling us that the WAP-enabled
(Wireless Application Protocol) cell phone will soon be bigger than
the World Wide Web we know today
So what's the connection with
m-commerce and m-branding? Being limited to using a matchbox-sized
display, with no colors and no resolution, is like running a Silk Cut
campaign without being allowed to show your logo or your brand name.
It demands creative, disciplined planning for the branding platform.
Yes, you can show your logo, but consumers are paying for every second
you take up on their mobile display. So what would you do? One
technique might be to work on product placement: to ensure that your
brand is exposed whenever it's relevant _ on the news, in movies, and
Another method would be to develop your brand's language - to
use phrases that the consumer can recognize as being the voice of your
brand. Some brands have already developed brand phrases. Just think
about Coca-Cola which, over the past six months, has been heavily
promoting the word 'Enjoy.' "
The following link is to an article on Platform Marketing entitled
"The ultimate brand marketing weapon":
[ http://www.hourglass1998.com/BP-Platform.htm ].
Now, on a classic article on branding, entitled, Branding Essentials:
What Developers Can Learn From Soda and Soap Makers, By Alexander
Brody and Brian McMahon, com.com:
An excerpt (but you should definitely read this article in its
What a Brand Is
A brand is why people care. A brand is trust. A brand is not a
product--it's the feeling a product evokes. A brand is why people will
pay more for your product. A brand is something made to appear unique.
(Kodak is memories; the other guys are just film.)...
And, What a Brand Is Not
Because there are so many inaccurate definitions of branding, we feel
compelled to tell you what branding isn't before we identify it
correctly. Most people who have a product for sale or a distinctive
box with a nifty logo think they have a brand. In truth, most have
nothing more than an investment in clutter
People who emphasize a
product's amazing features are convinced they're differentiating their
brand. This is the most common mistake of all.
As a final example, here are some key points to consider, from
EquiBrand Consulting, Inc.s website (a professional brand identity
and strategic positioning firm) [
-What is the brand image today? What are the relative strengths to
leverage or gaps to fill?
-What are the rational and emotional benefits sought and key decision
drivers among target customers?
-How are competitors positioned? What "white space" positioning
-How does the brand strategy translate into a brand action plan,
including the creative brief, communication plans and touch point
-How should we monitor and measure brand performance over time?
Google search strategy:
brand identity over time:
Clicking the similar links gray colored link next to each search
result main link will bring you to more content similar to that of the
I hope this information is what youre looking for. If anything Ive
written here is unclear, or if Ive left anything out thats important
to you, Ill be happy to expand the Answer to include whatever it is
that you seek, in a Clarification.
Good luck in your endeavors!
Google Answers Researcher