Monday, September 27, 2010

Is Your Brand Scary?

I've done a ton of branding work in my time and can tell you with some authority it's no wonder so many brands are a fright.

Sales guru Paul DiModoca offers a white paper, 3 Reasons Why B2B Branding Fails and Scares Prospects Away, that goes farther than anything I've read in explaining in simple terms why so much branding flops so hard, so often.

While he finds most branding fails to drive business performance or create inbound leads, DiModoco says CEOs continue to invest in branding efforts because they believe branding will grow revenue. 

But why does branding so frequently fail to do that?  DiModoca gives three reasons:

  1. A lot of branding is ego-driven and inwardly focused"This occurs," DiModaca writes, "when a group of senior executives gather together and create marketing messages that talk about how great they are and why the prospect should buy from them."
  2. A lot of branding is generic.  "When trying to build a brand message that communicates company value, frequently businesses use their offerings’ product or service category as a prime foundation of the brand description."
  3. A lot of branding is copy-cat.  "With the Internet providing easy access to view any company’s marketing and sales approach, brand effectiveness has decreased because so many companies just build their brand positions as an adaptation of their competitor’s messaging."
Branding efforts like these confuse and turn off customers.  What attracts them instead?  DiModica believes, "you need to deploy sales value propositions instead of branding messages."  

Sales value propositions, he says, describe the business results your product or service delivers.

"Branding costs money. Sales value propositions make you money."
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