After reading my blog post ReBranding is rarely sucessful, unless you keep it real, Irv Hamilton, Placemaking Group’s Senior Vice President had this to add…
The comments on branding were very interesting. But there are several aspects of the process that I think if often overlooked.
One is the lifespan of a brand.
Sometimes a brand spans a long period of time. Other branding does not have a long life. In some cases the life span — long or short — is intentional. And with other branding programs, the life span of a branding effort is affected not by management decisions, but by external circumstances. Anticipate how long a branding strategy will be valid, and act accordingly.
Another consideration is how the changing marketplace either strengthens or weakens a branding program.
Over the years one of branding efforts that I have thought to be both appealing and functional has been the Yellow Pages program based on the slogan, “Let your fingers do the walking.” Sadly, the Yellow Pages and your fingers are obsolete sources of information. You could re-brand it based on a new theme such as “Let your search engine do the walking.” But somehow it doesn’t the same ring. Pity. I’m going to miss those fingers.
You can build a case that self-deprecation is a foolish branding strategy. Imagine the planning committee sitting around looking for a branding strategy that focuses on the shortcomings and weaknesses of the company, its products and its services. Ridiculous?
Hardly. AVIS spent large amounts of marketing money successfully pushing the fact that they were a runner up rather than a leader. And the once-small producer of fruit products still announces, “With a name like Smucker’s, it has to be good.
Having said all that, we have two important pieces of advice for branding strategists.
First, don’t forget that timeframe plays a key role in branding.
And second, nearly everyone wants to be a leader. That means there is plenty of room to recognize the silver and bronze medalists.