Tuesday, 15 May 2007

Deep Brands

Leslie B. and I were talking about branding this morning and the fact that clients outside of the MarCom group seem to continue to trivialize branding when it comes to the core of the businesses and their understanding of shareholder value.

Now, that doesn't mean that they don't realize that brands are worth something. All the studies show it. But I think the issue lies in the fact that branding in the past has been the constructed fiction of mass advertisers. They instilled equities in the brands that they never had to prove. A glossy TV commercial was all it took to start the fantasy and help us believe.

But in this new transparent world of digital that we live in, proving it is becoming as important as saying it. What a company does, their beliefs, their values and the way that they conduct themselves in the world helps to build their brand on an on-going basis. The style of the brand isn’t less important, but like meeting someone who you have never met before, that is only the first impression.

And yet, brands still continue to be built on shallow values that often don't go deeper than the look and feel story boards they are conceptualized on.

I think it's time for deep brands that start with the DNA of the company and expand out multi-dimensionally from that. It’s time operations, finance, IT and marketing came together to understand how they each play a role in building a truly great brand.

(That last part was funny don’t you think? I didn’t even take myself seriously when I was writing it. ;-)

update comment: Peter was wondering if I was having an off day because of this post. As in, yeah, but doesn't everybody know that? I take his point, but just to be clear, my posting was less about evolving and expanding notion of brand and more about the fact that brands continue to be relegated to a MarCom activity and have not graduated to be seen as an integral part of the organization. It's just that fluffy thing they do over there in marketing. Even worse, that fluffy, non-quantifiable thing that can be cut the first time there are budget constraints over there thing.


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