Branding – or “brand-building” – has become the El Dorado of corporate marketing departments, advertising agencies, design firms, and consultants. However, branding goes beyond an attitude, or a logo, or a slogan, or an advertising campaign. Branding is a long-term holding in which your marketing communications are relatively short term investments. Your brand is a tangible corporate asset – an end toward which all your business efforts should work.
No less a forward-thinker than Tom (“Destruction is Cool”) Peters in The Circle of Innovation says “An obsession with branding isn’t simply a “marketing department” issue. It’s an accounts receivable issue. It could be a purchasing issue or could be an information systems issue. Heaven knows, a human resources issue.
Every decision … every system … should reflect, visibly, the specific attention to (obsession with). In other words, brand management is corporate management, in the deepest, truest, sense of the term. The problem is, companies are turning to branding as a panacea.
Equally problematic, are the self-proclaimed “branding experts” who are happy to sell you this expensive snake oil. In inexpert hands, branding becomes a way to obfuscate relative sameness, instead of to communicate relevant uniqueness.