The other day our Stringletter sales team had a lively discussion about one of our favorite topics, branding. It’s a word we and our customers use constantly, yet everyone seems to have a different take on what it means and how you define a successful brand. That’s probably a good thing, but the word’s multiplicity of meanings can make for some confusing dialogues.
After looking at Heidi Cohen’s very useful compendium of 30 branding definitions, we decided to conduct an experiment: Each of us would independently choose our favorite five branding definitions from Heidi’s list and then compare notes to see whether there was any agreement among us. A few days later, I was pleasantly surprised to discover that all of us chose four of the 30. Since our perception of branding has such a huge impact on how we work with our customers, I thought it might be useful to share our consensus with you:
David Oglivy: The intangible sum of a product’s attributes: its name, packaging, and price, its history, its reputation, and the way it’s advertised.
Jay Baer: The art of aligning what you want people to think about your company with what people actually do think about your company. And vice-versa.”
Cheryl Burgess: A reason to choose.
Seth Godin: The set of expectations, memories, stories and relationships that, taken together, account for a consumer’s decision to choose one product or service over another.
Helping people and companies achieve their branding according to definitions like these is one of the most interesting and exciting aspects of operating a media company. Is there anything we can do for you?