Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Brands and Branding - Rita Clifton & John Simmons (Book)

For some companies, the brand can account for as much as 70% of their total market value.

I'm reading an insightful business book on the ever-fascinating subject of Brands and Branding - (The Economist Series: Marketing/ Advertising).

Though written in 2004, it's of great relevance today as it outlines the founding principles of branding and explains its economic, political, social and business significance.

An all-round look at the art, science and commerce of brand-building - and its close link to sustainable value and wealth creation - contributed by 17 marketing and communications experts.

An excellent book via the venerable Economist, 'Brands and Branding' is a must-read for senior marketers, brand management and business executives. A great learning source of basic branding guidelines to apply them in today's digital / social media marketing ecosystem. A snippet:

The three attributes of great brands: (1) Built from a great idea; (2) Hold true to core purpose and values; (3) Employ brand as the central organizing principle.

The gist of the book is succinctly summed up in this Rita Clifton quote:

Bonus: Read / Download your free Chapter from the Book: The Future of Brands

Friday, September 7, 2012

Q: What differentiates a brand online? A: ________.

FACT: Manufacturers make products. Marketers build brands. They build brands on promise and promotion, which in turn, shape consumer preferences and perception.

In the offline world - the brick and mortar one we live in - we can easily tell the difference between brands based on touch, taste, sight, smell, sound. For example:

  • Coke - Pepsi: different formulas, different taste
  • Nike - Adidas: different material, different fit and feel
  • BMW - Mercedes-Benz: different manufacturers, different features
  • Colgate - Close-Up: different ingredients, different cleansing agents
  • Apple iPhone - Samsung Galaxy: different tech (iOS - Android), different looks


Q: What differentiates a brand online? What separates one from the other in the virtual world?
A: Quality Content.

Quality Content creates Social Capital, and in today's digital marketing ecosystem, that's your Brand Equity.

Brand differentiation via content. That's what makes Content Marketing vital to digital marketers.

In my last article, I wrote about Mastering Content Marketing - in 7 steps and, how Managing the Content Loop holistically can help build brand awareness, engagement, advocacy and loyalty.

Some organisations driving their business and achieving good results via Content Marketing are:

  • IBM is doing great brand work via their Let's Build a Smarter Planet initiative.
    See more on YouTube.

  • Coca-Cola has a Liquid and Linked Content Strategy upto 2020 - a strategic focus on brand-based story telling. Coke has 50+ million likes on Facebook. Gulp!

Watch Coca-Cola Content - Part Two here.

Coca-Cola's London 2012 Olympics 'Move To The Beat TVC' - a musical collage of sports sounds.
Coke's Olympic Games anthem Anywhere in the World ft. Mark Ronson & Katy B.

Inspirational Leadership :: Simon Sinek - How Great Leaders Inspire Action

Information is Beautiful :: David McCandless - The Beauty of Data Visualization

Another brilliant TED Talk
The musical genius that is Benjamin Zanders is sure to leave you inspired ~ Shiny Eyes

  • NIKE - just does it. Steps up to the plate time and again with fresh creative content.

  • SAMSUNG - a recent player, it's turning up the brand heat via sponsorship & celebrity endorsement. Appointing David Beckham as its Olympics Brand Ambassador was a casting coup. Killer strategy!

  • The Olympic Games - the Holy Grail of Marketing Strategy & Creative Content

It'd be fair to say the recent London 2012 Olympics were a festival of Content Marketing, with every brand (and their ad agency) bringing their best to the fore. Here's a standout example from P&G.

Speaking of Olympic-based content, here's my detailed blog on #London2012 Olympics.

Another post on the Games I really liked is Tapping into the Human Spirit on Digital Age of Marketing by Tami Cannizzaro, Director of Marketing, IBM, New York.

  • The Rise of Visual Content - Pictures, Pins, Photos. Images, Instagrams, Infographics. And... Video.

While content is a many-splendoured thing, in recent times, visual content has gained prominence.

  • Events

With Content Marketing going mainstream, events dedicated to CM are going full-house:

Although not solely on content marketing, two events that cover all areas of the digital ecosystem:

To sign-off with quality content par excellence, here's a visual idea that's a case study in branding:

Iconic poster ad for Levi's Black with one of the most memorable advertising slogans ever - by legendary copywriter, John Hegarty - the 'H' in BBH. While the ad is about irreverence, free-spirit and attitude, nothing quite says Brand Differentiation like a black sheep zagging the world. 

All-time creative classic!