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How do You Build a New Brand?

By Richard Fouts | May 08, 2009 | 2 Comments

This blog is for people in technology marketing and sales. However, many of the things we discuss apply to marketers in any industry. For example:

You’ve just spun off a piece of the company … that will now operate as a wholly operated subsidieary. Or you’ve started a new company that you need to brand. Or maybe you need to brand yourself? Now what?

A brand tells the story of what you do – who you do it for – how you do it better than others – and where you’ve done it.  It’s that simple, and that hard. Turning some abstract (like brand) into something tangible means you have to put some structure and definition around the process. A “brand workshop” does just this, by producing five essential deliverables:

1. Your market position (what you do and who you do if for)

2. Your value proposition (the value you deliver to customers at a price they are willing to pay, that offers a superior solution to alternatives). You can also think of this as your brand promise, that is – what you promise to deliver each and every time you engage with a customer.

3. Your competitive position (how you fit in the competitive landscape, that is,which strata of the market do you occupy? High end, middle of the road, commodity…)

4. Your elevator pitch (A 30 second story, maybe less, that teases your audience into hearing more…by alluding to the first three items in this list)

5. Success stories.  Evidence that you’ve delivered on your brand promise with stories from  customers that testify you do what you say you do.

Number five is probably your most important deliverable.  Without it, your brand promise is an empty shell. But what if you’re brand new (no pun intended) and you have so such stories?

You make them up. A new systems integrator says, “For example, an oil company that recently merged with a competitior – and is now consolidating the two data centers. Using our approach, it would complete the job in half the time, with half the resources it had originally planned, with no compromise to quality … using our innovatiave methodology.”  It’s okay to tell a story – and allude that it’s fiction, describing how it would paly out if it were true. Consumer marketers have done this for decades (how many TV commercials represent true stories?)

If you’re new to market, you can also give a few products or services away to get some good success stories into the queue quickly. Remember – success stories are brand evidence.  They need to match your brand promise.  

At the risk of self promotion, call me to talk about how my brand workshop can work for you to get your essential brand deliverables out the door (with far less time and expense of a big agency).

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2 Comments

  • Brand-building is a collective effort. If there is a genius to being a marketing executive today, it’s understanding that the true genius is the crowd.

    When we transformed our 52-year-old brand earlier this year, we did it by tapping into the zeitgeist as defined by our customers and employees around the world – not by sitting in a comfortable office sipping a latte. The most powerful brands are relevant,meaningful and generate energy– qualities bestowed by a broad range of customers, partners, employees, investors and many others – not a lone creative genius.

    Check this out decisions.fico.com

    Laurent Pacalin
    Chief Marketing Officer FICO
    Co-Founder Clean Tech Open