brands

How to identify key brand differentiators for your brand strategy

By now, it should be obvious how important it is to clearly differentiate your brand. But I still get questions about how to identify key brand differentiators — or how to prioritize them, clarify them, or use them in brand strategy development.

So I’ve produced an excerpt from a recent webinar I gave in which I took participants through developing their strategic brand platforms.  Take a look to learn:

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Brands should take a stand

Brands have evolved from mere symbols of product quality and identifiers to aid customers in purchase selections.  They are bundles of values and attributes that define the way companies behave and the value they deliver to customers.  In layman’s terms, a brand is what you do and how you do it.  This means brands represent more than products or services — they convey value through their personalities, their communications, and their ideas.  And as such, brands should take a stand.

Have a point of view.

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How great brands rebound: Ford’s remarkable turnaround was driven by the brand as business management approach

The story of how the venerable Ford Motor Company managed to recover from the Great Recession of 2008 may be one of the greatest corporate turnarounds in U.S. history.  And it demonstrates how great brands rebound from turbulent times.  Not only did Ford recover, but it ended up thriving and achieving heights once thought impossible for an American carmaker.

A Different Way of Thinking About Brand

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Brand Evolution Problems

This month’s round-up of articles I’ve read focuses on brand evolution problems. Companies usually need to evolve in order to remain relevant to changing customers and to continue to grow. But many have difficulty figuring out how to do so or adapting their organizations.

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Don’t Settle for Being an “-er Brand”

I originally wrote this piece for the Harvard Business Review. It was published on HRB.org on March 28, 2014.

As a member of a start-up advisory program, I regularly hear pitches from aspiring technology entrepreneurs. My job is to sort out the companies with potential from those that need to go back to the drawing board. One way I do this is to use what I call the “-er brand” filter.

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Back to Brand Basics

Given all the new media options and technology capabilities today, it’s easy to forget the essential truths about brands. I read several reminders this past month about getting back to brand basics.

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Great Brands Create Extraordinary Experiences

What do Mitch JoelMark Di SommaAdam ToporekJeannie WaltersMike Wittenstein, and yours truly have to say about customer experience and brand-building? Check out this slideshare of quotes, Great Brands Create Extraordinary Experiences.

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Brands To Watch in 2016

Which brands will break new ground, fall from grace, or overcome obstacles in 2016? Here’s my list of brands to watch in 2016. Since I couldn’t narrow the list to a handful as I’ve done in past years, I decided to expand the list to 26, one for each letter of the alphabet. So, here’s a brand-builder’s almanac for the coming year:

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The Financial Value of Brands Continues To Rise

Brands continue to grow in value, according to the analyses in Millward Brown‘s most recent BrandZ Top 100 Most Valuable Global Brands report.

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Great Brands Don’t Chase Shareholders

I recently wrote an article for OPENfor.business entitled, “Are You Making Excuses for Not Building Your Brand or Are You Embracing Its Potential?” In it, I explained that some CEOs try to explain why brand-building isn’t relevant or possible for them by claiming “Our situation is different.” But the unique challenges they think face are, more often than not, really just excuses for not having the commitment, discipline, and focus to build a great brand.

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