There’s a lot of clutter in “brand speak.” CEOs can make costly decisions because they are sometimes misinformed about strategic brand development and branding. Frankly, the two are often mistaken as the same thing. And of course, they are not one and the same…not by a long shot. There’s a lot of information out there, some of it is actually inaccurate, which only adds to the confusion. For example, many people think they have “rebranded” when they have only created a new ad campaign—this, instead, is a component of “branding” but does not have the added benefit of longevity of a true rebrand.
It seems everybody is branding or rebranding nowadays…businesses…people…even cities. Branding has become a catch-all phrase that many people actually misunderstand. What has been lost amid the confusion is the much-needed fine art of brand development.
Quite a distinction actually exists between branding and brand development. They are entirely different activities. In short, brand development is your firm’s strategic identity, and branding is the tactical execution of that identity (i.e., your logo, tagline, brand visuals). They go hand-in-hand, but it all starts with the brand development and your unique value proposition. Brand development is the process of discovering and adopting evidence of your distinction; it is truly a corporate initiative, not a marketing initiative. It has to start at “the top” with your CEO and executive management team and then flow through the entire organization. If it doesn’t start there, your efforts mostly likely will fail. You mention the UVP—but don’t define it.
So, what are some additional benefits of investing in brand development? You can start with saving time, money and resources in the long run. And, you will make better, more confident decisions while your business prospers…even in this economy. Plus, you will increase the profitability and worth of your business. Now what CEO doesn’t want these benefits of brand development?