Why does it need to be so complicated?
We’ve all seen it time and again. Branding projects that lasted so long the brands actually changed, not once, but twice before the initiative was ever completed. Sure, there’s agency greed, indecisive clients, stakeholders in transition, and yes, did I mention agency greed that unnecessarily extend the life of branding projects. But the branding process, for many of us, has changed, and that change has provided the client with what is long overdue; pragmatism.
Think about it this way. With the exception of your brand identity, most aspects of a brand are messages. Your brand promise, brand differentiation, brand personality, value, expectation, position, persona, extension, these, my friends, are stories, revelations, power statements, narrative pitch flows – call them what you will – but I call them messages and so do the people who are on their receiving end.
Get through the branding process so you can get on with what’s most important. Selling. Lead generation. Conversion. Selling some more. Incremental selling, and the beat goes on. Do your Voice of Customer Research (VOC) and do it correctly. Develop your messaging from it and put those pitch flows into your sales plan. Train your sales team how to use your power statements against your competitors without ever mentioning them by name. That’s what we call “the wedge”.
And always channel your innermost Fred Wiersema; you remember Fred, he’s the discipline behind the Discipline of Market Leadership. Look, you’re either going to be a Price and Value Leader, a Technology and Innovation Leader, a Customer Service Leader, or a Thought Leader. That was Fred’s message, and, of course, today that’s Fred’s brand.