Brand Schmand: About Building Brands

Everybody says they build brands

Experts say that the average American is exposed to thousands of brands a day. Hard to believe, eh? I’m in the business of “building brands”, and I can barely recall even ten a day. Today, in a world full of knock-offs and heavy competition, the overwhelming goal is to not only create brand awareness but actually to make each encounter with a brand an out-of-body, memorable experience. This experience must ring true in every aspect of your advertising.

How in the world do you do this? Some try to do it by just being incredibly clever. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been sitting around with friends and somebody says something like, “Did you guys see that ad where blah, blah…?…it’s hysterical.” Me, being the ad guy, always asks, “What were they selling?” Nine times out of ten, nobody remembers. Clever alone makes you remember the marketing execution, not the message. With this being said, I’m the first to admit we do still have to entertain in order to pique interest. We need to do something to keep people from taking potty breaks, flipping pages at Mach speed, or filling the wastebasket while we are trying to showcase our life’s work. There has to be a way to be clever and persuasive at the same time.

Unforgettable brand building

To me, true creativity is the answer. However, we define creativity as the innovative quality of our ideas, not just in the advertising we do, but equally in the disciplines of media, research, and account management. The absolute first thing to do in this process is to determine our message. We find this message by determining the main selling point for the product or service. Sometimes this proposition is not so glamorous. That’s where the creativity kicks in. We see creativity for what it really is: the ability to look at something you’ve seen all your life and see something new or different. All creative people have developed the ability to look at the familiar in unfamiliar ways to develop this identity. They are able to change the context of something just enough to make the ordinary seem extraordinary. The outcome: an idea that dramatizes the benefit so the consumer can’t forget the message. Making it memorable is key. Memorable doesn’t always have to mean clever, fun, or hysterical. If in the middle of a dinner party someone belched loudly, you might not think it funny but you certainly wouldn’t forget it!

So, the consumer remembers the message, but does this message speak to them directly or do they dismiss it as a message for someone else? This is where positioning comes in. Most clients are reluctant to accept any limitation on the image of their brand. They want it to be all things to all people. They want their brand to be a brand for men and women; a sophisticated brand and a “regular Joe” brand. What that usually leads to is a brand that lacks personality and appeals to no one – like bland generic cafeteria food trying to appeal to the masses. It is difficult to stick to one style when the advertiser wants you to “come up with something new” every few months. But the advertiser whose audience can say without a doubt, “that product is for me”, will become the preferred brand. This kind of loyalty comes from maintaining that single strategy.

Yep. Everyone says they build brands. But, how many are truly effective and memorable? By developing your strategy and creative execution, and standing by that strategy, you will create that memorable brand experience. In our creative eyes, we need to help others take off the blinders society and culture place upon us and see things in new ways. Seeing things differently with a fresh approach makes them memorable. So when asked about brand building, I say, “build memorable brands.

If you would like help with marketing and advertising, feel free to contact us. We offer a variety of services like digital marketing & analytics, marketing & brand strategy, and more to small and large companies.

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