The Interbrand rankings will be out soon and Coke, IBM, and Apple are likely to be among the front runners. It begs the questions, “Is there a secret to good branding? Can the formula for branding be written down like the rules of your SEO strategy or is it a more ethereal science?
As a marketer, I’ve become attuned to assessing whether new campaigns are ‘on brand'. For IBM, the argument goes something like this:…Is the message fact-based and authentic? Do the pictures exude quality and tell a compelling story? What is the shared belief I am building with my clients? Does my campaign give voice to that belief?
So brand is not merely a color, a font, a style; it’s essentially the voice of the company. For IBM, the brand promise is centered on driving innovation for our clients. For Apple, the promise is to deliver consumable, innovative technology. For Coke, happiness. For Nike, high performance. There is a spirit—a feel—that embodies these brands. When done right, the idea is to embody that vibe with every interaction.
The essence of branding then is about finding a set of core values that embody your company (that are lived by your employees) and that are believable, authentic and in demand. Every marketing campaign should support the overall brand value proposition and reinforce your equity in this belief.
So, what does your brand represent? What do you inspire?