Vækstdagen 2011

To my Danish readers: I will be speaking at the annual Vækstdag February 10 in Copenhagen about Brand As Strategy and why Branding is dead while the Brand is very much alive. More info and registration at Vækstdagen 2011. For an immediate view on the topic, pls read the post below.

Branding is dead, long live the brand

Branding is dead, long live the brand. What do I mean by that?

All companies are building their brand(s) every day, it's inevitable. But many don't realize it and have no plan or system for it which can have dire consequences. Perhaps even worse, many think that building the brand has to do with simply raising awareness of it and spending a lot of $$ on campaigns, and much less with delivering value to the customers in a specific and consistent way.

The word 'branding' has come to mean slapping a logo and a cute name on an expensive piece of packaging and then promoting the bejesus out of it. It has come to mean something we do at the end of the product development process, when we are about to launch. It has become superficial, disconnected from the product, the company and the people behind it. This saddens me so, because when approaching the brand this way, we cannot leverage it, we cannot maximise its potential, we cannot serve customers, and we cannot create or develop a business around it.

This is why I say that 'branding' is dead. The brand, however, is very much alive, and in fact more important than ever.
But does brand really matter these days, you might ask, when more and more marketing takes place between people eg on social media networks?

Why yes. Indeed, in a me-too marketplace where everybody has access and can express themselves about any brand any time (and this openness, in my book, is a great thing), the importance of developing and managing a highly differentiated brand - which starts with delivering distinct and superior customer value consistently - is more critical than ever.

We can only do so by putting the brand at the heart of our business strategy. Apart from simplifying the complex, making objectives clear and realistic, and giving direction for everyone in the company, putting the brand at the center ensures that everyone understands the brand promise and works on delivering this to customers every day. And it helps broadening yet clearly specifying the options for business development and growth.

The brand is what people buy. The product, the promise, the experience, and the conviction behind it. Meet and exceed customers' expectations and maximise business potential by putting the brand at the heart of your business strategy.

NB. To my Danish readers: I will be talking about this at the annual Vækstdag February 10 in Copenhagen. More info at Vækstdagen 2011.

New words for 2011

This post has nothing whatsoever to do with business, strategies, brands or any of the fancy stuff this blog tends to focus on. It's simply good old fun that made me laugh a zillion times today - it's a list of new words for 2011. I can recognize myself in several of 'em, eek!

Waving your arms around and talking bollocks.

Sitting round in a group, discussing why a deadline was missed or a project failed, and who was responsible.

A manager who flies in, makes a lot of noise, craps on everything, and then leaves.

The experience of spending an entire day swimming upstream only to get screwed and die.

Single Income, Two Children, Oppressive Mortgage.

The fine art of whacking the crap out of an electronic device to get it to work again.

Entering a fast food restaurant with no intention of buying food, you're just going to the loo. If challenged by a pimply staff member, your declaration to them that you'll buy their food afterwards is known as a 'McShit with Lies'.

Someone who's clueless. From the World Wide Web error message '404 Not Found'.

The bus that arrives at the pub on Friday night while you're in the toilet after your 10th pint, and whisks away all the unattractive people so the pub is suddenly packed with stunners when you come back in.

The invisible but warm coat worn when walking home after a pub crawl at 3:00am.