Still on the same subject of branding, as with my previous post, I wanted to share a brand practitioner’s version. The following is a view from Rob Frankel, Brand Strategist, through an MSCNBC interview.
Frankel started off by explaining that Branding starts with the brand-builder (the owner of the brand) identifying a customer solution that ONLY YOUR BRAND can deliver. It’s not the best solution, the cheapest, or most elaborate… but simply understanding what the customer’s problem/need is and addressing it with a solution. And it is pertinent to ALWAYS UNDERSTAND THE CUSTOMER’S VIEWPOINT!
He then cited a few good examples of strong brands, including FedEx, that has become the dominant player in the overnight package delivery business. An arena that had plenty of players in FedEx’s early years, ie.: UPS, DHL, Airborne Express (defunct), Emery (acquired by UPS).
Fedex’s “Absolutely, Positively Overnight Delivery…” tagline was the embodiment of a brand promise made good. But more importantly, it was FedEx’s sheer understanding of acknowledging and addressing the customer’s problem if the package DID NOT arrive on time as promised. Translating into the corporate customer’s disaster.
As for examples of companies with poor branding, he mentioned big names such as: WalMart, Kodak, Microsoft and Maytag. The latter was at one time the paragon of Corporate America’s reliability and dependability. A brand that suffered it could not live up to its brand promise, due to shoddy quality.
As for the shining example? Who else… APPLE of course! For its compelling understanding that customers relate to brands on a NON-RATIONAL human element and not based on all the fancy charts and graphs that accountants love so much.
Because in the end, the key to brand-building is “knowing how your customer relates to your brand EMOTIONALLY!”