How To Use The Five Branding Disciplines To Create A Gut Feeling Around Your Company
The Brand Gap book is all about helping you make your brand irresistible to customers.
It’s not just about logos and corporate identity systems or even products, it’s about understanding the power of a gut feeling that customers have when they encounter your company.
That’s why the five sections of this book focus on teaching you how to close the gap between creativity and strategy, so that you can ensure that your business communicates clearly and authentically with your customers.
Ultimately, The Brand Gap will teach you how to create a lasting impression on your customers by developing an understanding of what makes them feel good about your company -and that’s exactly the kind of gut feeling that drives brands forward.
The Key To A Successful Brand: Closing The Brand Gap And Mastering The Five Disciplines Of Branding
When it comes to becoming a charismatic brand, the key is to close the “brand gap” between strategy and creativity.
In most companies, the left-brained strategists work together in the marketing department, while right-brained creatives make up the design department.
Unfortunately, this tends to lead to tension and a lack of synergy between these two separate but coexisting initiatives.
This form of disconnection presents a major problem because companies are then unable to create a unified brand identity that customers can connect with.
Without any kind of connection or understanding of what to expect from a company’s products, customers will likely avoid loyal patronage and instead seek out more recognizable brands with established relationships like Coca-Cola or Apple.
These highly successful brands have mastered what’s known as The Five Disciplines Of Branding which focus on developing an idealized and aspirational identity that customers want for themselves and consistently communicate it through product choices, messaging and image.
Closing this “brand gap” is essential for any organization hoping to become a successful and charismatic brand.
The Key To Brand Differentiation: Staying Focused For Maximum Competitive Advantage
Successful brands know their purpose, what makes them stand out from the competition and how that appeals to customers.
That’s why it’s so crucial for companies to differentiate themselves from the competition– being unexpected will help you gain an edge on the market.
To maintain this competitive advantage, brands need to stay focused.
This means understanding who they are, what they do and why it really matters – because if you can’t answer these questions in a way that’s appealing to potential customers, then your brand is essentially meaningless.
Take John Deere for example: They’re a tractor company with generations of farmers vouching for their quality and dedication.
Notice how simple and connected their responses to these three questions are? If they started selling houses as well, they would be just another real estate company and all that hard work in attaining a competitive niche would go to waste.
That’s why successful brands know their focus, why it brings something unique to the table and why people care about it– stick with that, don’t lose sight of what makes your brand special even when temptation presents itself otherwise– because differentiation is key to success!
Constructing Brand Collaboration Through Outsourcing, Agencies And Integrated Teams
The development of a charismatic brand is highly dependent on collaboration, and having effective collaboration is crucial to its success.
This is something that many companies overlook, but understanding the importance of building an integrated marketing team and how it can be best utilized is essential for any brand’s success.
An integrated marketing team consists of experts dedicated to advertising, identity, product design, and strategy working together towards the same mutual goal – to develop a cohesive and recognizable brand identity.
This “superteam” ensures that everyone has a shared understanding of the company’s goals and that each person understands their place in achieving them.
Though bringing in outside help such as agencies or even one-stop shops may be convenient, creating an integrated marketing team within your own company gives you more control over accruing brand knowledge and prevents risk associated with outsourcing your branding efforts elsewhere.
With all these elements in check, developing a strong brand presence becomes much simpler, leading to growth in popularity and a unique image that customers won’t forget!
To Win Over Customers, Innovation Is Required For Market Leadership
If you’re looking for a way to make sure your brand stands out in a crowded marketplace, focusing on the power of innovation is key.
Instead of just relying on logical arguments to explain why yours is the superior product, think about how you can inspire customers with something new.
In order to innovate your brand, you don’t need to reinvent the wheel – instead, focus on finding ways to express your ideas in creative and unique ways.
This could mean hyping up an existing concept or tapping into cultural trends and societal changes – whatever it takes to grab attention from potential customers.
A great example of this approach is The Beatles, who continuously changed their musical styles over time and experimented with Indian instruments to capture their listeners’ ears.
There are plenty of opportunities for gradual innovation around your product or service – from if/how you change your logo or packaging, to even changing your name if needed!
Of course, any kind of innovation comes with some risk and people may be afraid of it at first.
But if you’ve tapped into something that triggers fear in others then you know that it’s something really innovative that’s sure to stand out!
Make Sure To Constantly Validate Your Brand To Ensure It Resonates In The Real World
With all the competition out there, it’s essential to make sure that your brand resonates in the real world and not just within your company walls.
To do this, you have to keep validating it at regular intervals.
One of the best ways to do this is by using validation tests.
Validation tests involve presenting prototypes of a branding element like a logo, message, or name to people outside your organization and asking probing questions about it.
Aim for at least ten participants in individual test settings with a smaller number of prototypes.
Ask questions such as “What kind of company do you associate with this name?” or “Which name out of these seems more valuable to you?” and follow up by asking why they think that too.
Another type is the swap test which involves replacing one aspect (name/logo) of your brand with that of a competitor’s to see if it works better or equally well.
Here, you’re looking for five elements – distinctiveness, relevance, memorability, expandability and depth – to rate the success of your branding elements and messages.
Through validation testing, your brand can become alluring enough for customers so when they remember your product or service’s message, they’ll be linked back to an emotion connected with it!
How To Cultivate And Protect Your Brand For The Long Term
In order to keep your brand alive, you need to cultivate it.
You need to be willing to take risks and make mistakes, while still remaining true to the defining characteristics of your brand.
It’s also important that all employees understand how their actions contribute to the brand.
Having a Chief Brand Officer can be extremely beneficial in helping you protect and cultivate your brand.
A CBO helps close the gap between strategy and creativity by managing the five disciplines of branding – differentiation, innovation, collaboration, validation and cultivation – which is essential for success.
Organizing brand-related workshops and seminars is another great way to ensure that everyone understands how their work impacts the identity of the company.
By cultivating your brand in these ways, you can ensure its longevity without it becoming stale or boring.
Keeping your customers interested requires taking smart risks, keeping tabs on new trends, and making sure every element of your brand feels cohesive and consistent.
The Brand Gap by Marty Neumeier is a must-read for anyone looking to create a powerful, charismatic brand and dominate their market niche.
Through outlining the five disciplines of branding and emphasizing the importance of collaboration in developing a unified brand strategy, Neumeier provides readers with invaluable advice on how to reach their customers.
To summarize his key message, Neumeier advocates for creating cohesion and collaboration between strategic and creative components in order to build a unified, successful brand.
He also advises us to avoid “featuritis,” or adding too many design features just to make things look nice – instead we should focus on subtraction, narrowing down our designs to only those which are relevant to our brand.
With these tips from The Brand Gap in mind, you have a great starting point for getting your own genuine and captivating brand off the ground!