Subscribe in a reader

Top 5 Abused Corporate Brand Attributes

Comment

Top 5 Abused Corporate Brand Attributes

Let's start with numero uno.  Trust. Here's the deal. You earn trust. You don't sell it. All brands are based on a promise. I trust Tide detergent to clean my clothes. I trust Apple to give me the best technology experience on the planet. If your team is compelled to literally list "trust" as a corporate brand attribute, your organization is most likely trying to compensate for something that is missing from  a.) your value proposition or b.) your brand experience. 

Number two. Innovative. Who doesn't want to make this claim? And yet, many companies that tend to go for this, well, aren't. In order to be credible in this arena you have to be able to literally show the market what you mean by making the claim. Specificity is critical as is buy-in on this by customers and employees.  If not, your strategy is headed straight to the brand grave yard where it will whither and die on the vine.

Number three and four. Integrity and ethical. Should be a given in my opinion; however, there is one exception to this and that is in the case of an organization working toward re-establishing its corporate reputation. In that type of scenario in which an organization is attempting to root out corporate malfeasance then it is worth adding it to the mix. Otherwise, it is expected to be intrinsically part of the  equation. 

And finally number five. Customer-focused (or driven or centric). I dunno. Seems kind of pointless in today's hyper-competitive market place. Either you are or you aren't. And if you're not you'd better figure it out pretty darn quick because a competitor is going to eat your lunch. In the era of price transparency and rapid commoditization, being customer-driven is a requisite for growth. 

As with any well-articulated brand strategy, the key to establishing meaningful differentiation is the organization's ability is to avoid cliche attributes, and instead carve out its own unique brand recipe that the entire organization can live up to. 

Comment

Why Disney is the Best of the Best

Comment

Why Disney is the Best of the Best

I had just started to workout and was cruising through Apple’s new interface and decided to click on the Disney station. To my delight, I swiped and listened to several songs that elevated my mood and inspired me to start thinking about a question I had been asked by a previous client as in, “What’s your favorite brand and why?”

Interesting enough, it was a question that caught me a bit off guard. Believe it or not, he was the first to ask. And since then, I’ve given it some thought and have determined that Disney is my favorite because…

  • The body of music and artists is nothing short of staggering. I mean really. Even if you have a bone to pick with the company there is no denying its contribution to American music.  Singers, songwriters, orchestration and lyrics are a treasure trove of incredible music. You’re made of stone if you aren’t affected by lyrics like this:
I’m malicious, mean and scary. My sneer could curdle dairy and violence-wise, my hands are not the cleanest, but despite my evil look, and my temper, and my hook I’ve always yearned to be a concert pianist.
— The "I've got a dream" song from Tangled

 

  • Before “technology” was a glimmer in anybody’s eye, Disney produced Fantasia in 1940 considered then and now to be a masterpiece 
  • For creating wonderfully clever names such as “Cruella de vil” that put a smile on my face
  • No offense to GE, but Disney spearheaded“imagineering” years before “imagination at work” 
  • I think it’s fair to say the company was way ahead on being “multicultural” and “connectivity” when it introduced the iconic “It’s a Small World” exhibit at the New York World’s Fair in 1964 to help support the United Nations Fund.
  • It captures every aspect of human nature and formative life experience through the eyes of children with adult irony (capable of bringing a tear or two to guys who will never admit it)  Deception, greed, jealousy, loss, happiness, friendship, love and more. It’s all here.
  • I cannot think of a single company that is remotely close to what Disney has created in terms of brand experience and understanding the customer journey. Not even Apple. Bar none the most difficult, impatient and demanding customer segments are parents and their brood from every socio-economic demographic on the planet. I dare anyone to debate me on this! 
  • When it comes to setting an industry standard. The company nails it. Staying relevant? check. Brand extension? Resorts, TV, cruises, games, licensing and more. Check. Innovation? Duh, check. Creativity? Please, check. Global appeal? Check. Brand experience? Super check. Pricing privilege? Oh yeah big time. Check. Every single brand attribute most companies clamor for Disney does and does exceptionally well.

Look not everything Disney does, do I agree with or can excuse. I don’t like my six year old watching several of the Disney shows on television. Nor do I care for some of its by-products like Miley Cyrus, but I certainly do not hold the brand accountable as the culture police. It’s a commercial brand in business to make money. 

For me brand is about telling a story, creating a connection - having a purpose that is larger than one’s self.  Disney is a brand among brands because it is the world’s most prolific storyteller. 

After we are all gone what remains? Our stories and how they shape us. 

Nobody is immune to Disney.

Comment

Merry Christmas! Poem Courtesy of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Comment

Merry Christmas! Poem Courtesy of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

 

"I heard the bells on Christmas Day
Their old familiar carols play,
And wild and sweet
The words repeat
Of peace on earth, good-will to men!


And thought how, as the day had come,
The belfries of all Christendom
Had rolled along
The unbroken song
Of peace on earth, good-will to men!


Till, ringing, singing on its way,
The world revolved from night to day,
A voice, a chime
A chant sublime
Of peace on earth, good-will to men!


Then from each black accursed mouth
The cannon thundered in the South,
And with the sound
The carols drowned
Of peace on earth, good-will to men!


It was as if an earthquake rent
The hearth-stones of a continent,
And made forlorn
The households born
Of peace on earth, good-will to men!


And in despair I bowed my head;
"There is no peace on earth," I said;
"For hate is strong,
And mocks the song
Of peace on earth, good-will to men!"


Then pealed the bells more loud and deep: 
"God is not dead; nor doth he sleep!
The Wrong shall fail,
The Right prevail,
With peace on earth, good-will to men!"
 

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Comment

Apple Bets Big on Consumer Preference & Privacy

Comment

Apple Bets Big on Consumer Preference & Privacy

Apple Pay is here and it's upsetting the proverbial Apple cart (yes pun intended) with big box retailers like Walmart and CVS.  Both of whom just announced that they will not accept Apple Pay. It's a wait and see in terms of how the consumer copes with that rejection and whether it will make an impact or not at these retailers.  

The real story here is not just about convenience and reliability it's about who owns the data. Cook has already taken on Google in his recent remarks, "with Google you are the product".  The fact that Apple Pay makes payment that much faster and easier is one thing;  what is more revealing is how fearful these companies are toward being circumvented on the data front. Apple is placing its bet that the future of mobile payment and individual preference for limits on using your data is here. Seems to me that Apple is uninterested in literally mining you, the individual as a source of revenue in terms of where you go and what you buy, instead it's placing its bet on the public's need for convenience and privacy. Based on the recent breaches at Target and Chase, I remain  unconvinced that a consortium of big box retailers can outrun Apple or the public on this one. 

 

 

Comment

Comment

Tugboat Announces Brand Fundamentals for Start-Ups & New Ventures

Tugboat Brand & Business Development is announcing a Brand Fundamentals package for newly formed cash conscious organizations.Today's start up and new ventures are under immediate pressure to grow quickly. The Brand Fundamentals package is meant to provide high level cost-effective, strategic counsel.   It includes an introduction to best practices in brand development along with basic strategic and design necessities. For organizations funded via angel or VC, we provide a more in-depth offering designed to specifically help founders quickly scale their brand along with their business.  

"Many start-ups tend to see brand in tactical terms as in we need a logo and a name," noted Sheryl Kravitz, an independent consultant who founded Tugboat in 2001 after leaving Interbrand. "This is often short sited and can hurt a company's upside over the long run. The reality is brand development done well from initiation can expedite growth and momentum." 

About Tugboat Brand & Business Development 

Formed in 2001, Tugboat Brand & Business Development is an award-winning brand and marketing consultancy that specializes in B2B. Since its beginning, the firm has been driven to challenge the status quo in how branding services are provided. We believe in strong fundamentals, not cookie cutter approaches or solutions. Tugboat approaches brand development as a composite of culture, business model and leadership style, and therefore, works closely with every client to ensure that its unique brand footprint is understood and developed to its fullest potential. Tugboatbranding.com or call 1.800.284.2135. 

 

 

 

Comment

Tugboat Announces Ecommerce Brand Services

Comment

Tugboat Announces Ecommerce Brand Services

Tugboat Brand & Business Development is launching three ecommerce branding solutions that can be purchased online without the hassle of issuing an RFP. The Name IT Workshop, Anytime Marketing Minutes, and Brand Power are customizable and designed to help in-house marketers gain traction internally and guide best practices in terms of name ideation and marketing services pertaining to brand. 

"There's a healthy amount of skepticism by those within the industry that this cannot be done because of the unique characteristics and needs posed by individual clients," noted Sheryl Kravitz, an independent consultant who founded Tugboat in 2001 after leaving Interbrand. "Strong brand fundamentals and best practices for select services do not require an extensive RFP to get underway."  

Today's marketers are under the gun to outperform in a continual state of beta. As a small consultancy, we have found that whether you are a start-up or a large global enterprise the challenges to brand development demand a new level of service and price transparency. This type of service is to provide flavor and insight on how Tugboat Brand & Business Development can add client value without  long-term strings. 

About Tugboat Brand & Business Development 

Formed in 2001, Tugboat Brand & Business Development is an award-winning brand and marketing consultancy that specializes in B2B. Since its beginning, the firm has been driven to challenge the status quo in how branding services are provided. We believe in strong fundamentals, not cookie cutter approaches or solutions. Tugboat approaches brand development as a composite of culture, business model and leadership style, and therefore, works closely with every client to ensure that its unique brand footprint is understood and developed to its fullest potential. Tugboatbranding.com or call 1.800.284.2135. 

 

Comment

Google+