Pick up the key ideas in the book with this quick summary. A brand is a gut feeling. What you can do, however, is ensure your company does business in a way that customers understand and appreciate. This book summary will explain the five branding disciplines you need to follow to instill in your customers that positive gut feeling about your company that you want them to have. So how do you go about building a strong brand?
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Pick up the key ideas in the book with this quick summary. A brand is a gut feeling. What you can do, however, is ensure your company does business in a way that customers understand and appreciate. This book summary will explain the five branding disciplines you need to follow to instill in your customers that positive gut feeling about your company that you want them to have.
So how do you go about building a strong brand? Start by closing the brand gap , or the gap between strategy and creativity. Left-brained strategy people work together, perhaps in the marketing department. These employees tend to be analytical, verbal and logical. Meanwhile, the design department is exclusively populated by right-brained creatives. These employees are more intuitive, with strong spatial and visual skills.
In other words, customers have a solid relationship with a company and know what to expect from its products. For example, companies like Coca-Cola , Apple and Nike have achieved this by establishing brands that communicate ideas of joy, beauty and style — all things people want for themselves. The goal of any brand is to develop this kind of aspirational, appealing identity and to communicate it consistently.
Humans are hardwired to pay attention to the unexpected. For our ancestors, this was a survival strategy, a way of scoping out potential threats.
Today your brand can use this impulse to attain a competitive advantage. Differentiation can be summed up by three questions. So what? Lots of companies make important products. Everyone says that. The company would argue that they matter because generations of farmers trust their equipment.
This leads to a key aspect of differentiation, which is: stay focused. If John Deere started selling houses, it would be just another real estate company and it would lose its differentiation. But actually, being focused is the only way to be truly competitive. And yet they still decided to expand their product line and develop sexier, more unsafe models, and their brand suffered for it. So stay focused! It requires many different people with all sorts of skills and specialties to come together and build it.
First, you can outsource branding to another company. Another way to build brand collaboration is to work with an agency. The third way is to create an integrated marketing team , where you hire a team of experts to work inside your company, focusing on advertising, identity, product design, strategy and so on. Although a superteam demands a lot of resources and investment, following this strategy allows you to hold onto all the accruing brand knowledge within your own company.
This is when separate companies and organizations come together to deliver a particular product or service to customers. The best example of this is in Hollywood, where directors, actors and other specialists come together to make a movie, then when the project is done, split up and move on to different projects. It would be nice if you could woo your customers with a logical argument, explaining why yours is the superior product.
You have to innovate. If everybody else is zigging, you have to zag — because otherwise, why should consumers notice your product? The Beatles are a fantastic example of this approach.
The British pop group innovated consistently across all of their records, over a long period of time. They started out in the early s with upbeat songs that conformed to mainstream tastes. But over time, they introduced unusual sounds and experimented with Indian instruments.
Opportunities for this kind of gradual innovation are everywhere. It might be a matter of changing your logo. Or maybe you could redesign your website or your packaging. You could even change your name! The point is, you should take advantage of every outlet to innovate your brand. Of course, innovation is risky territory. Generally speaking, people are afraid of innovation. Volkswagen straddled this line between risk and innovation with its humorous, attention-grabbing VW Bug automobile.
In the old days, brands mostly engaged in one-way communication with consumers. But today, brand-customer communication is more of a feedback loop. When your company sends out a message, you get a response! And this more interactive mode of communication is exactly why the fourth brand discipline, validation, is so critical. So make sure you validate your brand constantly. There are a number of ways you can do this. One way is called the concept test.
It involves presenting prototypes of a branding element, like your name, to at least ten people outside your company. It helps to do this individually not in a group setting and to have a smaller number of prototypes. The goal is to understand whether more people prefer one prototype over another. Swap tests are another way to validate elements of your brand. Swap one aspect of your branding, like the logo or the name, with that of a competing brand. How do brands perpetuate themselves?
Once you have a handle on the first four brand disciplines, you have to cultivate your brand and keep it alive. In fact, brands that are always the same are viewed with suspicion.
So let your brand live! Make mistakes and be human. Another way to ensure that you have a living brand is to see it as a collaborative performance, one that requires input and cooperation from executives, employees and everyone in between.
This will make your brand much more authentic, which customers will intuitively sense and respond to. Make it a priority for all employees, not just the marketing department, to maintain the brand. One way to instill a sense of brand identity is to organize brand-related workshops and seminars. This will ensure that everything employees do is guided by one question: Is this good or bad for the brand? Another way to protect your brand is by hiring a Chief Brand Officer.
These super-experienced professionals are able to close the gap between strategy and creativity by managing the five disciplines of branding: differentiation, innovation, collaboration, validation and cultivation.
The only way you can create a charismatic brand is by creating a cohesive, collaborative working environment that unites strategic and creative components. You can do this by managing the five disciplines of branding: differentiation, innovation, collaboration, validation and cultivation.
When it comes to web design, bells and whistles like animation, widgets and graphics are easy to develop and implement. The real skill lies in knowing which ones are actually relevant to your brand, and which are just clutter.
So when it comes to web design, focus on subtraction, not addition. In How Brands Grow , Byron Sharp tackles conventional marketing wisdom, disproving many of the conventional marketing myths with scientific facts and establishing some scientifically proven principles marketers should use. And whenever tension happens between these two polarized groups, you end up with a brand gap.
The Brand Gap Key Idea 2: Successful brands know what they do and why it matters, and importantly, they stick to it! What do you do? We make tractors and related equipment. Why does it matter? There are three key ways you can build brand collaboration in your company. The Brand Gap Key Idea 4: To ensure that your brand stands out, look for innovative ways to express your novel ideas. To really win over consumers, you have to inspire them.
The Brand Gap Key Idea 5: Use validation tests to figure out whether your branding elements and messages work. For example, it would be weird if Nike started making laundry soap. Memorability : Is your brand sticky? One way to ensure that people will remember your brand is to connect it with an emotion. Expandability : Would you be able to expand your brand to other message types and products? Depth : Can you communicate about your brand with different kinds of customers, across various channels, using different kinds of styles and emotions?
The Brand Gap Key Idea 6: By cultivating your brand, you can ensure it perpetuates itself without becoming stale or boring. In Review: The Brand Gap Book Summary The key message in this book: The only way you can create a charismatic brand is by creating a cohesive, collaborative working environment that unites strategic and creative components. Suggested further reading: How Brands Grow by Byron Sharp In How Brands Grow , Byron Sharp tackles conventional marketing wisdom, disproving many of the conventional marketing myths with scientific facts and establishing some scientifically proven principles marketers should use.
The Brand Gap Summary and Review
By Alexandra Obradovich Over the past four years of college I have read plenty of assigned books. Yet, with graduation right around the corner, I can only recall one text that I expect to have a constant impact on my future career. The Brand Gap by Marty Neumeier was initially written to help businesses bridge the distance between strategy and design, although the disciplines outlined in this book directly relate to personal branding and my immediate job search. A brand is defined as a gut feeling about a product, service, person, or company and although people have power over their messaging they do not have control over how others will perceive their brand.
The Brand Gap
THE BRAND GAP