Why are some brands and their clarity scrambled?
Some arrive as fried as Sean Penn in Fast Times at Ridgemont High.
While some are hunting for Easter eggs, the rest of us are hunting for our brand’s secret sauce.
HOW TO UNSCRAMBLE YOUR BRAND
Helping companies and individuals with their brands, I see all the smart steps and all the missteps made when it comes to branding, how they present themselves to the world, and even their own clarity in what business they’re actually in.
The biggest mistake, hands down, is companies think what they make or do is the business they’re in.
For example, let’s take Porsche.
Yes, they make cars.
But the business they’re in? “Status (or regained youth) in the passing lane.”
If they “sold cars” instead of “speed, style, craftsmanship, adrenaline, and performance,” it would have a detrimental impact on their business.
And how their sales people
Just yesterday, I was speaking to someone we all know, love and respect. And he asked me “Am I a ‘digital marketer’?”
I advised him, if he used those words, “digital marketer,” for his skills and business, I would unfriend him, unfollow him, and block his number on my phone.
That would as as bad a branding diamonds as “shiny glass-like things.”
To give you a better handle on this, let’s look at 6 brands I recently worked with (just so you’re not confused, not every rebrand results in a name change).
This first example took a company that was convinced it was in the “facial oil” business. After some competitive analysis and seeing the business they were really in, they became “7 Day Glow. Beauty. Naturally restored.” as you see here:
BRANDING “A COACH”
Sometimes, a cute name gets in the way of conveying your value. That was the case here when a brilliant coach, working in Silicon Valley with top CEOs, needed clarity.
How do you know if your brand needs clarity? You or your sales personnel are spending a lot of wasted time “clarifying what you do” and saying things like, “No, no, no. We’re not that, or like that other competitor. What we actually do is…”
Waste. Of. Time.
In this case, this very high level advisor transforming team performance for CEOs went through this transformation. Going from the overused term “coach” to what really matters to Silicon Valley CEOs: metrics.
BRANDING AN OLD INDUSTRY
Many industries have been around forever. And newer companies entering the space are distracted by the cobwebs, the “that’s the way we’ve always done it” mentality.
That is instant death.
That was the case for this company that was entering the “HR staff selection” service sector.
The players in that industry make an awful mistake: they all talk “their own language” while ignoring the language used by the their audience.
In the words of the great David Ogilvy:
“It seems to me you should use their language, the language they use every day, the language in which they think.”
So, the slogan (besides an immediately memorable name and design) said it all in the language their customers use, “No more guessing.”
All while differentiating their new brand from the other companies that sounded like lawyers, or lab technicians and nothing “human” at all which is odd given they are dealing with choosing people in the first place.
I admit it: this sauce is amazing on eggs. There. I said it.
But how do you transform something that looks like a commodity into something that conveys it’s a premium offering?
That was the challenge here. There are many layers here, in how the packaging looked, in the branding of the product line, and more.
But it had to start with a solid foundation that was simple, clear, eye-catching. Especially since it was NOT a barbecue sauce. And could be used on any type of food: meat, poultry, seafood, and veggies.
“Like clarity, deliciousness starts in the mind.” (See the whole rebrand here.)
BRANDING AN AUSSIE DESTINATION
I admit it. I love Aussies. To me, they’re like New Yorkers who a different accent: they’re straightforward, they’re mischief, they’re go-getters, they enjoy good food, and they enjoy a good laugh.
So when I was hired to truly define this destination for world travelers, I was all in.
They had two immediate problems: Their competition started to use the word” Platinum” to describe their apartments or hotel destinations, and secondly, their brand did not reflect their attention to detail, their amazing panoramic views of Melbourne, and their truly handpicked furniture and amenities.
So a new name was needed and a new brand identity that reflected what they did for travelers that was anything but ordinary.
Moss & Dawson had a certain cultural sound reminiscent of England and the look was now very rich and affluent.
This was all summed up with the new slogan, “Where dreams come to stay in Australia.”
BRANDING A NEW OPPORTUNITY
The media industry is a €2.9 billion in Finland alone with an estimated 698 different media companies.
With all of that media content, the media companies had been struggling with how to graduate their content to 21st century usage and buying habits of today’s consumers.
Up until this point, a company called Snowbot provided solutions as a general IT consultancy looking for ways to monetize their industry-specific knowledge in media.
But they cracked the code on revenue for media companies.
So to make everything clear and to unscrambled their message and brand, here’s what was done for them:
THE CHICKEN OR THE EGG?
That’s the question. But it’s actually simple.
Above, you just saw how 6 brands transformed themselves.
If you’re vague about what you offer, about what your brand stands for, about what your customer is actually coming to you for, nothing else will work.
Everything built on an unstable foundation will be weak, will be a bandaid.
Remember what the Brand Slayer said (that’s me): “There are no dull products or services. Only dull blades.”
If your brand story is not hitting the mark, if you’ve lost your traction, if customers cannot distinguish you from your compeition, stop the struggle and let’s talk.