Larry the Ad Man's Blog

I hope you learn from my small business marketing and advertising tips.

"Advertising is to trade what Steam is to machinery" Thomas Cook.
It was an honor to be nominated for 2011 Canadian Weblog Awards.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

The case against branding

Branding and brand recognition has become one of the most talked about marketing efforts in recent years. This post will not argue that branding isn't important, but rather, the emphasis and money spent on it these days may be placed elsewhere for better effect. When we look at branding historically, the major players like Coke and McDonalds come to mind. Other like sports teams and Canadian donut icon Tim Hortons then follow. What these companies have in common is that they have been around a LONG time. As such have used traditional media to develop their brand over YEARS of history including the feeling you get when you see the logo. It starts with the ad and ends with how you felt after you have purchased something from them. That is the feeling you get when you see the logo. What I see when I look at a Coke, McDonalds or Tim Hortons logo is very different from how you feel about it. Kentucky Fried Chicken may be a great example of how sociological factors forced them into re branding after years and millions of dollars spent.
More to the point, how I feel about seeing an Edmonton Oilers hockey logo is far different than my friend Mike, an Oilers fan. But the branding works in all these cases. I am looking at a changing paradigm with the ever changing Internet, texting and cell phone technology. The market for computers and cell phones themselves is an ever changing brand fest. Brands that were big in the 90`s and early millennium are gone or gobbled up by new brands. With the instant gratification generation spending dollars in larger quantities, brands will become more disposable. The consumer is more easily swayed and not just because of the new instant media, but by virtue of the most important part of branding, walking the walk. If you do not live up to the hype, customers will not have the patience to come back and give you another chance. There are many fish in the seas online and in your neighborhood to get what you want instantly. Therefore branding should take a back seat to customer service in these modern times. Get your message out, deliver more than you promise and your customers will be loyal. Until next time, I'm Larry "The Ad Man"

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