Branding – What Exactly Should it Accomplish?

October 2, 2012 by +Marj Wyatt  
Filed under How to Market and Brand

Part 1 – The Goals Branding is essentially no more than establishing an automatic recognition of your brand name and a positive identification of that brand with a particular product or service. The stronger and more widespread that recognition and association is, the more effective your marketing efforts can be. The effect has been achieved when a person immediately thinks of your brand whenever someone mentions [your offering], or conversely, when [your offering] is mentioned, they think of your brand before any other.

There are virtually unlimited means by which to accomplish this, but all involve repetitive exposure to your brand and its offering.

Your BrandBranding can be accomplished for a company brand, a particular product or service of that company, or the name of a particular individual or group. 

Of course, not all branding is positive. Repetitive associations of a negative nature can cause a sort of branding that no business or individual should desire. There are many individuals that have enjoyed a certain type of negative branding that would be nearly impossible to overcome. Charlie Sheen, Tom Cruise, O.J. Simpson and Osama bin Laden have all experienced some negative branding that has had negative impacts. But we don’t want to go there.

Positive Branding

Let’s concentrate on some examples of positive branding that has been beneficial for the targets. Just a few examples of brands that most of us associate with a particular product:

  • Xerox – copier machines
  • Crest – toothpaste
  • Ford – automobiles
  • Pepsodent – toothpaste
  • IBM – computers

Fairly obvious, right? Name recognition is immediate, for these brand names. But for instance, Crest is readily associated by most Americans with toothpaste, but not nearly as many would associate it with the company name, Proctor & Gamble. In that instance, since P&G has so many products in its portfolio, the specific branding of the toothpaste’s specific brand was ultimately more effective.

Pepsodent, on the other hand, while failing to hold a large market share after the 1960s, undertook a brilliant branding campaign, which included such things as:

  • the jingle, “You’ll wonder where the yellow went / when you brush your teeth with Pepsodent!”
  • a radio program entitled The Pepsodent Show Starring Bob Hope
  • a huge neon ad, featuring a young girl on a swing, in Times Square

Their advertising campaign was so successful at becoming a part of Americana, that their brand and slogan were incorporated into works by Rogers and Hammerstein, Cole Porter and Mad Magazine. Even those too young to have been around in Pepsodent’s heyday are still exposed to this lasting branding success.

Minnie Pearl’s hat with the price tag still in place and her iconic “Howdeeeeeee!” were other types of branding, as were Jack Benny’s deadpan side-glance, Ed Sullivan’s arm gestures and “… really big shoo” and Dean Martin’s (sometimes feigned) drunkenness.

Choosing your Path

Each and every one of these companies and individuals managed to sufficiently impress the public with some unique aspect of their presentation to become essentially synonymous with that aspect. By repetition of a memorable, attention-grabbing detail, they gradually infiltrated the culture to an extent that they were widely associated with it.

Such a detail can just as easily be a refreshing approach to customer service, such as some extraordinary examples that be seen on mental_floss. It could also be the lifetime guarantee offered by Snap-On Tools, the same-day delivery push by Amazon that is currently underway or simply an innovative USP (unique selling proposition) such as that offered by Burger King (Have it your way) or Domino Pizza (“…hot, fresh pizza in 30 minutes or less or it’s free.“).

All are obviously marketing techniques, but isn’t that exactly what you’re doing with a branding campaign – marketing your brand’s fit for a particular niche? In Part 2 of the branding series, we’ll take a look at some of today’s most effective avenues for branding and the techniques for maximizing the results.


10 Responses to “Branding – What Exactly Should it Accomplish?”
  1. Danielle says:

    Excellent post… can’t wait to see part two. In the days of microniche sniper sites, building a brand was beginning to look a lot like gun smithing… a dying art. I’m glad to see people like you making an effort to bring it back.
    Danielle recently posted..WP-AmaZingCart Case Study 1, Th $600 Sale,Part 2.1My Profile

    • Marj Wyatt says:

      Thanks, Dani.

      Sometimes we get so caught up in the latest shiny object that supposedly makes things easier that we forget the basics of business and branding.

  2. Anita says:

    Well put, as usual, Marj. Like Danielle, I’m looking forward to part 2.
    Anita recently – An Open Letter To Dan K.My Profile

  3. Renu Bakshi says:

    After a long time I am reading such a good post on branding. There are some very effective tips which I was not aware of. Thanks Marj for writing such an informative post.

  4. San Coils says:

    I think a lot of online businesses have forgotten the art of branding. (Too caught up in trying to game search engines to do their marketing for them.)

    Looking forward to part 2 Marj, just don’t make me wait too long for it.
    San Coils recently posted..Show Me The Money HoneyMy Profile

  5. Ruthe says:

    Thanks for the memories Marj, I enjoyed the reminders of the ads most of America remembers… jingles are catchy and remind us of products. I look forward to reading part 2 for more thoughtful information. Will you show is ways to do our own branding?
    Ruthe recently posted..Write The Best Email and Subject LinesMy Profile

    • Marj Wyatt says:

      Thank you for your comment, Ruthe.

      Alas. The next in the series will not cover how to do branding for others. There are so many nuances to the various business models out there.

      You’ve given me a good idea though. Perhaps there will be future installments that cover, in general terms, how one might apply branding techniques to their online businesses.

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