The 10 Most Common Branding Hurdles & How To Leap Them

The 10 Most Common Branding Hurdles & How To Leap Them
SHARE
THIS



Branding. It sounds simple enough… so what can go wrong? Lots, says branding expert Tania Farrelly.

Just to be clear, I’m not talking just about visual design here, I’m talking about the whole box and dice of brand particularly for service businesses. Lets look at the most common hurdles we encounter on the path to creating and maintaining a great brand.  And importantly, how to leap over them.

Hurdle #1. The idea that a Great Brand is about a logo (and it’s size) … isn’t it?

I hesitate to put this mistake in for fear it will insult your intelligence. But still…. one of the #1 things I hear from marketers when reviewing communication, “We need more branding”. When they’re really asking for a big fat logo.

Logos are just visual shorthand for a whole suite of emotional associations choreographed over time. So the idea that you are achieving branding by increasing a logo by 5, 10 or 20 percent is one part fairy-tale, one part madness.

The Leap: The whole communication piece should be a relevant, entertaining expression of brand. If it’s not achieving these things, a big logo wont make up for a lack of brand meaning.

Hurdle #2. Everyone involved in a branding exercise probably has a different concept of ‘brand’

Ask 10 people to define brand and you’ll most likely get 10 different answers ranging from a promise, to a set of associations in consumers’ minds and worst of all “just something marketing does”. And while many are true – you can see how we can get tripped up.

The Leap:Workshop the idea of brand with the team, review some popular and not so popular brands; decide what they mean and what they’re doing right or wrong and agree a team ‘definition’.

Hurdle #3: Thinking creating a brand is ‘Marketings’ job

No. The brand is the business and the business is the brand, this is especially true in service industries where your brand starts with business PURPOSE -closely followed by cultural values, benefits, tone and a kick ass ‘star’ product.

The Leap: All of this must be championed and modelled by the leaders who serve their staff . Everyday, 100%.

Hurdle #4: Thinking a rebrand is the solution for a sick brand

Some businesses think by slapping a fresh coat of paint on their tired old brand they can spruce it up with a bit of visual iconography. While this might attract interest in the short term – it’ll make matters worse in the long term. See point #3 .

The Leap: Fix the business, the people that run it or the people who work in it. Otherwise the old problems will remain and consumers /buyers will be more disenchanted than ever.

Hurdle #5. Not getting emotionally involved

Brands are built on emotions and people buy on emotion. When they don’t buy on emotion, guess what? They buy on price. So how do you get to this intangible holy grail?

The Leap: The first thing to do is figure out what emotions you want people to experience (beyond trust and reassurance – they’re given). Deliver these positive vibes through the product experience first, then reinforce through use of advertising, ambassadors , social media, sponsorships, brand engagements , ‘likeminded brands ‘, creating a character … the list is endless.

Hurdle#6. Seeing Mission and Vision Statements as the be all and end all

While these statements can be very important business compasses – unfortunately -they usually become at best, framed dust gatherers or at worst stimulus for ‘behind closed door’ laughs amongst co-workers. Why? Specialists in the area of Leadership and business performance ‘Leading Teams’ found in their recent survey…
“40 per cent of workers couldn’t remember their organisation’s mission statement. The impact can be profound; those team members that didn’t know their business’ cultural values were more unhappy in their job and thought poorly of management practices.”

The Leap: Focus on a mission which lends day to day business purpose ‘ we exist to….’ and decide how to live these things daily.

Its great to be ambitious but ground that ambition in good behaviour. The old paradigm rings true….(Remember your Under 15 Netball or Footy coach?)… ” Focus on the process and the outcome will take care of itself. ”

Hurdle #7. Using lazy words like Integrity, Quality and Honour

Please. Of course every brand and business wants this. But for heaven’s sake define what you mean.

The Leap: If you want your brand to have integrity what are the commitments it is going to uphold? What are the penalties if it doesn’t? What at a leadership level does this ‘integrity’ look like? How will you tell if it is and isn’t delivered on a daily basis. Dig deeper. Be specific.

Hurdle #8. Disconnected Brand Values and  KPI’s

Your brand values are your culture – or will be. To create a great culture the people within it need to BEHAVE in a certain way – from the boss down. (see Hurdle #6). How do you ensure this behaviour happens?

The Leap: Link the desired behaviour to reward and recognition. They need to be part of people’s KPI’s.
Uncompromisingly simple.

Hurdle #9. The Temptation to start from the ‘outside in’

Too often brand strategies are created by external ‘suppliers’ (like me) many of whom use secondary research to ‘come up with’ a brand strategy which is somewhat divorced from the reality of the business. (Not like me). While these strategies are undoubtedly brainy and likely creatively clever – if your people don’t :

a) ‘get it’
b) ‘ feel it’
c) feel like they can deliver it and
d) see a connection to their KPI’s

It wont work.

The Leap: Always start inside out. It starts with your leaders and staff. They should be along for the ride from inception to birth.

Hurdle #10. Expecting consumers (& staff) to embrace change without explanation or involvement

So lets say you’ve flown over these hurdles and ended up with a brilliant holistic brand strategy along with a new look and logo. Your job isn’ t done.

The Leap: The hard work begins in communicating change internally and externally; getting people to be involved with change and own it. Help them really understand WHY and HOW you’ve changed. Take your customers along for the ride , especially your advocates and let them understand , benefit and celebrate the change. They will become great mouth-pieces for you.

If you take the leap over these top ten – you’ll have the inside running to a great (long term, meaningful and sustainable) brand.

Happy times ahead.

Tania Farrelly is the principal at Tania Farrelly Brand Strategy & iSPY Research

Please login with linkedin to comment

Latest News

Image lead story UnLtd’s ‘Big Clash’ Raises Over $120K, With Media Owners & Media Agencies Crowned Champions
  • Advertising
  • Media
  • Technology

UnLtd’s ‘Big Clash’ Raises Over $120K, With Media Owners & Media Agencies Crowned Champions

With over 50 companies taking part, the fourth annual Big Clash cricket tournament has been the biggest yet, raising $124,000. The event once again brought the industry together for a great afternoon of cricket, drinks, music, and charity activations. This year, the event was expanded to have Media Owners, Media Agencies, Techies and Creatives all […]

SCA’s Profit Drops 21% Due To “Years Of Heavy Lifting”
  • Media

SCA’s Profit Drops 21% Due To “Years Of Heavy Lifting”

Southern Cross Austereo (SCA) has experienced a negative first half of the 2018 financial year, posting a dramatic drop in overall profit and a slight drop in revenue. The group’s net profit after tax fell 21.2 per cent to $48.5 million in the six months to 31 December 2017 (compared to the previous corresponding period), […]

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine
Lord Of The Fries Pays Homage To Kanye West & Kendrick Lamar In Clever Ads Via Milkman
  • Advertising
  • Campaigns

Lord Of The Fries Pays Homage To Kanye West & Kendrick Lamar In Clever Ads Via Milkman

Creative digital agency Milkman has helped Lord of the Fries (LOTF) pay homage to two of the fast food outlet’s favourite artists through a series of clever art poster adverts. Milkman re-created the latest album covers of Kanye West and Kendrick Lamar with a LOTR vibe to highlight the brand’s hip-hop roots and its favourite albums […]

Keep Left Wins PR Account For Greening Australia
  • Marketing

Keep Left Wins PR Account For Greening Australia

PR and content marketing agency Keep Left has been selected by proactive conservation organisation Greening Australia to raise public awareness of its flagship programs and national footprint. The relationship began in 2017 when Greening Australia engaged Keep Left in support of Reef Aid, a project launched with corporate partner Virgin Australia to improve water quality […]

Now Screen Repositions Organic Care Brand With New Campaign
  • Advertising
  • Campaigns

Now Screen Repositions Organic Care Brand With New Campaign

Aussie agency Now Screen has teamed up with Organic Care to reposition the brand in what has become one of the most competitive FMCG spaces. The new campaign, ‘Caring Comes Naturally’, celebrates what Organic Care has created since its inception: products that are as good for your body as they are for the environment. In […]

Can You Speak Data?
  • Marketing
  • Opinion

Can You Speak Data?

We're certainly fluent in gibberish, balderdash and claptrap here at B&T, but sadly data isn't part of the lexicon.

Opinion

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine
Social Change Maker Profile: Emma Heath
  • Advertising
  • Marketing
  • Media

Social Change Maker Profile: Emma Heath

B&T has partnered with UnLtd to showcase industry heroes! Well, it's arguably more heroine in the case of Emma Heath.

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine
Ad Fraud: A Problem We Can Solve
  • Advertising
  • Opinion
  • Technology

Ad Fraud: A Problem We Can Solve

Unlike B&T's mystery office farter, this columnist argues ad fraud is a problem that can possibly be solved.

Opinion

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine
Why We Pivoted Our ‘Specialist’ Agency Five Times In 15 Years
  • Marketing
  • Opinion

Why We Pivoted Our ‘Specialist’ Agency Five Times In 15 Years

In this opinion piece, Gavin McDonough (pictured above, co-founder and managing partner of Urban, shares through his own experience some valuable advice for independent specialist agencies. In November 2017, my brother Ryan and I celebrated 15 years in business. We started business out of my front room in Melbourne in 2002 – not with any grand […]

Opinion

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine
W+K’s Susan Hoffman Chosen As 39th AWARD Awards Chair Of Judges
  • Advertising

W+K’s Susan Hoffman Chosen As 39th AWARD Awards Chair Of Judges

Susan Hoffman, co-chief creative officer at Wieden+Kennedy (W+K), has been appointed chair of judges for the 39th AWARD Awards. Known to challenge the status quo, Hoffman is behind some of W+K’s most memorable and game-changing ads, including Nike’s ‘Revolution’, Old Spice’s ‘The Man Your Man Could Smell Like’ and Chrysler’s Super Bowl spots starring Eminem and Clint […]

Experiential Agency Kreate Gets Bought Out By Staffers
  • Marketing

Experiential Agency Kreate Gets Bought Out By Staffers

Leading experiential marketing agency, Kreate Australia is embarking on an exciting growth strategy following its purchase by three of the agency’s existing management team from its UK founder, Steve Evans.

Hurry! B&T 30 Under 30 Entries Closing Friday!
  • Advertising
  • Marketing
  • Media

Hurry! B&T 30 Under 30 Entries Closing Friday!

This is a clarion call for B&T 30 Under 30 entries, although it's probably more mariachi band than angelic harbinger.

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine
The Hit Network Chooses Comedian Tanya Hennessy To Host Weekend Breakfast
  • Media

The Hit Network Chooses Comedian Tanya Hennessy To Host Weekend Breakfast

Southern Cross Austereo’s Hit Network has announced that rising radio star and comedian Tanya Hennessy will take over hosting duties for its weekend breakfast slot in 2018. Hennessy will bring content to the airwaves each Saturday and Sunday morning from 7am to 9am with a regular rotation of guest co-hosts. The self-described talker, not walker […]

Straight Up PR Wins Five New Clients
  • Marketing

Straight Up PR Wins Five New Clients

Health, wellbeing and lifestyle PR agency Straight Up PR has welcomed Changing Habits, Unichi Wellness, enerGi, SleepX, and Healthie Hampers to its client portfolio. Straight Up PR’s projects will include bespoke PR services and influencer marketing packages specifically focusing on communications strategy and execution, media and influencer relations, PR launch events, product seeding and gifting, […]

March One Creates ‘Cheese For Change’ Fundraising Campaign For White Ribbon Australia
  • Advertising
  • Campaigns
  • Marketing

March One Creates ‘Cheese For Change’ Fundraising Campaign For White Ribbon Australia

Independent creative agency March One has developed a new fundraising event for White Ribbon Australia that turns a social moment into a social movement. Starting on Thursday 22 March and going until Sunday 25 March, Cheese for Change will ask Aussies to create a cheese platter that matters by gathering friends, family or co-workers together […]

Sixth Annual IGN Select Awards Winners Announced
  • Marketing

Sixth Annual IGN Select Awards Winners Announced

The winners of IGN Australia’s sixth annual Select Awards were revealed during a huge special event at the Australian National Maritime Museum in Sydney on Friday, February 16. Some 225 Media & Game Publishers alongside 320 IGN Community Gamers attended the annual event. 2017 was absolutely crammed with terrific games and several categories were extremely tightly-contested. The top […]

Meet Your Mentors For B&T Bootcamp 2018!
  • Advertising
  • Marketing
  • Media

Meet Your Mentors For B&T Bootcamp 2018!

When it comes to an industry "who's who", you'll find there won't be too much who-ing with this impressionable lot.

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine
ANZ Unveils Its 2018 GAYTMs
  • Marketing

ANZ Unveils Its 2018 GAYTMs

Mardi Gras is only weeks away and B&T has already hoisted the mirror ball and donned the hotpants to bring you this.