What’s the Big Deal about Branding?

Overall market performance of top brands exceeds the S&P 500 by over 30%. Strong branded companies outperform the stock market. Brands outperform markets in general.

iPod (Apple) or MP3 Player (generic)—Which Do You Own/Use?

MP3 players offer a perfect example. These devices have been around for about a decade and for much of their early history they were simply known by the function they fulfilled. They play MP3 compressed music. No compelling, (or most importantly), differentiating brand name or story was strongly associated with any of these players… Most of the major consumer electronic manufacturers and computer manufacturers entered the market and it proliferated, but with no clear leader.

All that changed when Apple introduced the iPod and iTunes. Now competitors are forced to call their entries MP3 players, while Apple is free to call theirs simply “iPod.” The results of this brand strategy are nothing less than phenomenal. Apple has succeeded in taking over a category so completely that today 90% of new car models feature an “iPod” plug. Price points for “generic MP3” players, even those manufactured and distributed by mainstream and branded consumer electronic companies, hover around $50. In contrast, iPods sell upwards of $100 dollars with many models commanding a $300 price point. A two to five times multiple! Preference deserves an even bigger mention. Today, iPod commands 75% of the domestic US market. and, perhaps even more significantly Apple’siTunes store is now the largest retailer of music worldwide.

Sales Tip of the Branding Iceberg

Strong branded presences outperform other organizations in recruiting, profit margins, and being fun places to work. A strong brand allows you to charge a premium over competitors. They also engender loyalty, which, in turn, demands repeat purchase and develops superior financial performance. Employer branding ensures better employees can be acquired for less, and with less effort. Employees at strong brands tend to work harder and stay longer. They believe.

A strong brand is the single most important asset in any business.



Employment Branding Attracts New Employs

Over half of the top 50 ideal employers for young people are listed in the top 100 brands (Universum survey via Business Insider) The top 3? Disney, Apple and Google. Why? At Google, the perks are endless. If you’re lucky enough to work at headquarters, you’re in beautiful California. But even if you’re at one of Google’s other locations, you’re still in luck. There’s slides, hammocks, sleep pods, massages, and not to mention, Google is always launching new products to keep the successful company keep getting better. Google ideal employer.

Subtle, Yet Precise Distinctions Define Branding

The difference between branding (market branding) and marketing is at some levels subtle, yet both precise and profound:

  • Marketing is based on turning product distinctions into benefits for the customer.
  • Branding develops the emotional gap between various points of view or perspectives on an organization or product, which create emotionally satisfying stories, or otherwise engaging points of personally relevant reference, also known as emotional leverage.

As you can see, the differences yielded by this distinction produce a distinctly differing outlook. Marketing produces a sales-centric perspective, while branding produces a strategic perspective that powerfully leverages personal emotions that tend towards strategic corporate outcomes.

What’s Needed to Execute?

Developing effective access to marketing requires an understanding of product, sales strategy and buying psychology. Executing satisfactory access to branding requires the complete marketing arsenal, PLUS a much higher level of thought and analysis and a significantly greater in-depth and LONGTERM understanding of organization both specifically (in your case at hand), and generally (with all kinds of organizations).

Finally, branding requires an intensive and holistic approach to consistently communicating the strategic story (brand) as a conversation across all channels (notably including your initiating team as a foundation element).

The payoff is that branding produces extraordinary and powerful synergies which both subtly and tactically inform organizational behavior across the board. The impact of these strategies, taken together, virtually ensure global success, when taken fully into account and to heart, by the Brand CEO and his or her executive board.

Other articles: 7 Secrets to Branding Anything, Anywhere, Anytime
at 7 Secrets. See also What is the Value of Branding article by Synaxis

Contact information: Bryce Winter is a CEO Coach and Brand Architect. Bryce has over twenty years of experience as a multi-disciplinary creative manager with luminary brands such as CHANEL, Virgin Records, TD Canada Trust and Rothman, Benson and Hedges. He specializes in cooperative approaches to brand strategy and brand communications. Email: Bryce@brandCEOcoach.com



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