Over the years, many myths about branding have taken hold in the business world and spread like wildfire. Branding is not one aspect of your marketing campaign. It is the combination of everything your business stands for. Branding is not created with a single, stand-alone event, it is created over time through a series of strategically thought-out actions.
Let’s check 15 most common myths about branding and confront them with reality.
1. Your Unique Selling Position Is Your Brand
Absolutely not. While your Unique Selling Position might be used to help convey your brand, it is not – in and of itself – your complete branding strategy.
2. To Be Remembered, You Must Have A Logo
We have found that many destination marketers do regard their logo as their brand. One thing that our experience has shown is that to develop a compelling and distinctive brand identity takes much more than a new logo, new graphic design, or “a fresh coat of paint”. In a nutshell, your brand is your promise and is at the heart of everything that you should be doing as a destination marketing organization or economic development agency to positively influence the perceptions of customers. A logo is important, but to develop a brand takes lot more.
3. We Created Our Brand This Afternoon.
The reality is that a true brand strategy for a destination will not emerge in an afternoon. There are many complex market issues to review and the views of many stakeholders and partners to respect.
To build a strong destination brand requires a solid strategic foundation. It takes research, strategic analysis, a lot of listening, plenty of creative thinking, tough decisions, and careful honing and refinement. It has to provide clear and innovative differentiation from competitors, resonance with your customer’s greatest needs, foster unity with your partners, and harmony with the distinctive values and personality of your community. This takes objectivity, experience, a lot of honesty and sufficient time!
4. Branding is ONLY Important for Big Companies
Branding is even more important for small companies. How do you make yourself stand out from the crowd? If you have a consistent look and clear messages coupled with good services or products, you will have a better chance of building customer loyalty. First impressions are important – whether of your company or you personally. How you present your company to potential clients is as important as how you present yourself.
5. We Can’t Afford It
A strong brand strategy provides the leadership, framework, and umbrella to focus all of your marketing efforts and resources in a manner that will generate the greatest results. It lends the clarity, distinctiveness, and consistency to messages and experiences to underpin and guide everything that you do and lead you to new levels of achievement.
It is a matter of whether it can afford not to have a brand strategy! If the organization is spending money on marketing and has not clarified what it is, what it does best and why it matters to customers, then it is wasting money. The brand strategy will also provide synergy between partners, focus and creativity for maximum results and benefits from your marketing investments.
6. Once Your Branding Strategy Is In Place, You Need Do Nothing More
This is probably the biggest myth of them all! So many online businesses are led to believe that once they have an amazing USP, and a snappy logo they have accomplished everything in the realm of branding.
However, just the opposite is true. Your branding strategy is an ongoing process, not a one-time event. Defining your strategy is just one part of that process.
7. The Concept Of A Brand Is New
If your favourite tipple is a glass of Moet & Chandon champagne, you are enjoying a work of art with a heritage dating back to 1743. If you prefer Coca-Cola, that dates back to 1885 and both Lion Lager and Castle Lager are over 100 years old. It is also sobering to consider how many top brands of half a century ago remain today’s brand leaders.
8. The Modern Concept Of A Brand Is Difficult To Describe.
Think of a product as a physical entity made in a factory, while a brand is a psychological entity made in the mind. Put another way, a brand is a mixture of tangible and intangible attributes symbolised in a trademark which, if carefully managed and nurtured, is capable of exercising a powerful influence
9. Brands Are The Exclusive Domain Of Products And Services In The Fast-Moving Consumer Goods Sector
No longer. Today just about anything has the potential to be branded, from theme parks to countries. However, perhaps the main activity today is to brand companies and develop corporate brand
10. Scientific Analysis Of Brands Is Still In Its Infancy
The fact is that brands are best analysed holistically from a marketing, financial and legal standpoint. Only then do you get the true picture
11. A Brand Represents A Small Fraction Of A Company’s Assets
This certainly used to be true, but over the best part of a decade in the eighties this all changed to the point that it is estimated that about 60% to 70% of the market capitalisation of the London Stock Exchange is goodwill and that a very high portion of this is brand value. The market capitalisation of some major brand-owning companies shows that the brands (largely intangibles) are now totally dominant.
12. Brands, Like Products, Have Life Cycles
In practical terms most brands need have no life cycle at all. Clearly world power brands such as Coca-Cola, Gillette and IBM go back generations and continue to be highly successful. But to survive, just like anything else, brands have to be nurtured and invested in.
13. The More You Invest In A Brand, The More Valuable It Becomes
Sadly, there is no connection between investment and resulting value. he ownership of a brand rests in the final analysis with the person who uses it – without a customer there is no brand. “Many examples exist from the past of customers voting with their feet when their favourite brand was changed too much, perhaps the best known being Classic Coke and the speed with which CocaCola had to back-track.
14. I Don’t Need A Brand Identity
If you are a professional in business, you need a brand identity. You wouldn’t imagine being in business without other important business essentials – your own computer, perhaps, or a business name or bank account. A brand identity is another of these basic business essentials – it’s the central piece to the marketing and promoting of your business.
15. Brand Is Everything
Just having a brand isn’t much. It doesn’t hold people when a competitor is only a step away. Image is fine. Sales are better