Larry On Branding
I've been asked, "What are the industry standards for branding?"
Given my decades of experience in the business, I can honestly answer, "There are none."
Some folks think that branding is all about marketing, advertising and public relations. Others believe that all you need is to develop an attractive logo and catchy tagline and, voila, "we have our brand."
than your organization's DNA..."
Still others feel they've fulfilled their branding obligations by handing out favors—pens, refrigerator magnets, stress balls, tote bags and the like, imprinted with their company's logo—at conferences or other relevant venues.
My message is that good branding is far less about marketing, advertising and public relations and far more about quality leadership and staff, appropriate and ethical behavior, and an organization's willingness, ability and commitment to live up to the promises, or covenant, its brand represents.
A brand is nothing less than your organization's DNA—it's a true reflection of who you are and what you do. You can spend millions of dollars on marketing, and say anything you like about yourself. But if you don't live up to your brand in everything you say and do, then all you have is sizzle, and it won't take long for your target audiences to see the smoke and realize there's no substance.
If you're confused by the words "brand" or "branding," replace them with the word "reputation."