Top Seven Brand Myths to Dispel

MythsIf you keep doing that with your face, it will stay that way! Your mother may have told you this myth when you were making faces growing up. There are thousands of popular myths floating around, some of which are so believable that many people have shaped their lives and behaviors around them. And, because some of these myths are so logical and convincing, they are hard to identify and many people never think to question them. You can thank your mother for introducing you to your first one.

In this blog post, I want to dispel seven brand myths that may be affecting how you view the science of brand, branding and brand development.

Myth #1: Customers control your brand

This is only true if you turn your back and let them. A brand is a company’s most important and valuable asset, and it must be properly managed to maintain critical metrics such as:

  • Relevance
  • Uniqueness
  • Competitiveness
  • Credibility
  • Delivery
  • Sales
  • Loyalty

In my opinion, companies should have brand managers first, and marketing managers second. I believe this because marketing will only be as effective as the quality of the brand it is promoting. Marketing a fuzzy or weak brand has proven to do more harm than good.

Myth #2: Brand is just a fancy word for marketing

The fact is, the two are completely different disciplines. Brand is defined as a set of unique distinctions a company owns that make a noteworthy difference in the lives of its customers. Marketing is the tactical application of promoting the brand through a variety of communications vehicles.

Myth #3: Brand development is a one-time initiative

This is like saying learning only happens when we are in school. Your brand should drive everything your company does, influence every decision employees make, define your culture and provide answers to two of the most burning questions that keep business owners up at night: “Why should top-performing employees in my industry want to work for me?” and, “Why should customers want to do business with me versus my competitors?” Brand development isn’t an action – it is a business lifestyle.

Myth #4: The ROI on building a strong brand is difficult to measure

Consider this: if the ROI delusion is preventing you from working on building a stronger brand for your company, it will be easy (and much more painful) to measure competing brands that win the customers you were pursuing and hiring the people you were courting. There’s a reason why Google is the dominant technology company, receiving more resumes in one month than Harvard receives applications in one year. It’s not the pay. It’s not the benefits. It’s something much, much more. Brand can be measured in more than 25 ways. To learn more, contact us.

Myth #5: A brand is a logo

No. A logo is a visual representation of what the brand stands for. Think of it this way – when you see the logos of your five favorite brands, what comes to mind for each? When you see the logos of five brands you would never buy, what comes to mind for each? The things that come to mind are what those brands stand for, at least from your experiences, biases, perceptions and understanding. Do you see why focusing on your brand is one of the best business decisions you can make?

Myth #6: Relationships trump the brand

Relationships are your brand. And it’s not just the relationships you have with your customers – it’s also the relationships you and your employees have with each other. The quality of the relationships your company has with people internally (employees) and externally (customers, strategic business partners, the community, etc.) is a direct reflection on the quality of your brand.

Myth #7: A brand is what a company says it is

It’s not what you say, it’s what you can prove and consistently deliver. Here’s an excellent example. I recently received an email promotion from a large retail chain that sells a variety of appliances and electronics, promoting their expertise in cameras and photography by branding themselves as The Camera Authority. Intrigued, I visited one of their locations as I was interested in upgrading my camera and wanted to know what they had to offer and what recommendations they would make based on my needs. Unfortunately, the salesperson in their camera department couldn’t offer much more than what was on the informational cards next to each camera, and some of the insights he had into the technical aspects were incorrect. I thanked him for his time and walked away. Thinking back, I wonder how many other customers came to this salesperson looking for advice and walked away with a similar experience. And, I can only assume he is not the only untrained salesperson in their camera department. Question: What do you think this does to the retailers’ brand credibility? Any brand setting an expectation that it cannot deliver is setting itself up for failure, and a lot of disappointed customers.

You may have noticed that the common denominator in a brand is people. It’s your employees who need to understand what your brand is and how to deliver on your brand promise. Without that definition and clarity, your brand will only be as strong as the most uninformed and disengaged person on your team. http://www.seroka.com/top-seven-brand-misconceptions/The good news is, your employees do care, and they do want to deliver. When you have your team on your side, your brand will have unlimited potential.