2007 – Interesting Year Start in Brands and Branding

2007 definitely started with a lot of agitation in some of the big brands courtyard.

I’d start with the Apple Computers who dropped computer from its name. The move is rather normal considering that iPod or iTunes are two of the main products of Apple Inc. and was announced in the same time with the buzzy launching of iPhone. Now, getting to this, cannot help myself not to admire the Apple capacity to create a buzz in the media, no matter that we’re talking about the internet of the classic mass media. The phone they launched is, I admit, a work of art and has a lot of great features but I wouldn’t hurry to name it neither a Blackberry killer, a computer or a smart phone. It’s more like a beautifully designed, big brand sustained swiss knife of mobiles.

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Employees Branding Guidelines

The brand-developing process centers on the messages the organization sends and the processing of those messages in its employees’psyches.

Employee branding is a process by which employees internalize the desired bran dimage and are motivated to project the image to customers and other organizational constituents. The messages employees take in and process influence

  • the extent to which they perceive their psychological contracts with the organization to be fulfilled
  • the degree to which they understand and are motivated to deliver the desired level of customer service

In so doing, they drive the formation of the employee brand. The messages employees receive must be aligned with the employees’organizational experiences if the psychological contract is to be upheld. Therefore, the conscious development of organizational messages is the fundamental building block in this process.

The messages must then be delivered through appropriate message sources.The following guidelines provide a starting point in this process:

  1. Organizational messages should be carefully thought out and planned in much the same way mission and vision statements are thought out and planned.
  2. The organizational messages should reflect the organization’s mission and values.
  3. Messages directed toward external constituencies must be in line with the messages sent to employees.
  4. Messages directed toward external constituencies should be sent internally as well.
  5. The design of recruitment and selection systems should incorporate messages that consistently and frequently reflect the brand and organizational image.
  6. The compensation system should incorporate messages that consistently and frequently reflect the brand and organizational image. For instance, managers in organizations that value training must be held accountable when they fail to train and develop their employees.
  7. Training and development systems should help managers and employees internalize their organization’s mission and values and help them understand how the mission and values pertain to their roles in their organization.This should enable them to more effectively articulate messages that consistently and frequently reflect the brand and organizational image.
  8. Advertising and public relations systems should communicate messages that consistently and frequently reflect the brand and organizational image.
  9. Managers should be taught the importance of communicating messages that are consistent with their organization’s mission,vision, policies, and practices.
  10. Performance management systems should address inconsistencies between practices and policies to minimize violations of employees’ psychological contracts.
  11. Accurate and specific job previews should be given to new employees so that realistic expectations are incorporated into their psychological contracts.
  12. Corporate culture (artifacts, patterns of behavior, management norms, values and beliefs, and assumptions) should reinforce the messages employees receive.
  13. Individual output should be measured and analyzed to determine if there are message-related problems at the departmental, divisional, or organizational levels.
  14. Individual messages should be continually examined for consistency with other messages.
  15. Message channels should be examined to ensure consistency of message delivery.
  16. In the event that messages need to be changed or psychological contracts altered, organizations must take careful steps in rewriting the messages.
  17. Measures should be used to assess outcomes such as customer retention, service quality, turnover, and employee satisfaction and performance

Trends in Brand Naming

TippingSprung, a Manhattan-based brand consultancy, observed that few regular surveys focus on trends in brand naming. Consulting with a panel of branding experts, TippingSprung designed a brand-naming survey to help answer key questions: Which names are most popular? Which are most effective? What are some of the major trends in brand naming today?

Results from TippingSprung’s first annual survey of brand names revealed the top brand names in a number of key categories. Major trends in brand naming were also uncovered. The survey focused on names and products that had been released within the prior 18 months.

Choosing a name is one of the most important decisions a company can make when launching a brand. While packaging, taglines, or even product formulation can change on a regular basis, the name is the one element of the brand that remains constant.

said Martyn Tipping, president, TippingSprung.

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Branding Trends

In all aspects of business, and branding makes no exception, are influenced nowadays by the trend of customization and personalization. Both are now hard to avoid and they are shaking hands with the new technologies.

The basic concept of branding will definetly remain unchanged — to create an emotional attachment between the consumer and a product — but the near future (or should I say present?) will demand from branding to adapt to consumers high demand for specialized – peronalized – customized products.

The new technologies are changing the way consumers interact with companies, or with other consumers for that matter, exchanging views, complaints, opinions and comments about products and services, about brands, about companies, about YOUR company.

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Brand System – The Experience

As mentioned before, experience is the third step in defining Brand as a System. Brand experience is the aggregate of consumer perceptions that come from interacting with a brand.

The process of exposing consumers to the various attributes associated with a particular brand, a successful brand experience creates an environment in which the consumer will be surrounded by the positive elements attached to the brand.

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