Branding is Simple

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Each week we share learnings and insights from experts in the consumer product and retail space. This guest editorial comes to us from Maura Mitchell. In 1999, Maura founded Brandology in the San Francisco Bay Area. Since then, she has become a trusted advisor, providing practical guidance that drives results for clients including Clif BarSafewayPeet’s Coffee and Blue Diamond.

If you tell people you want to create a compelling brand, you’ll probably find yourself in conversations filled with terms like brand essence, DNA, values, promise, and manifesto. Someone will even draw a brand pyramid or ladder, and talk passionately about the different parts of your brand architecture.

The truth is that building a brand for a small company is not that complex.

It is actually quite simple. You only need to craft four elements to create a strong brand: a target market, point of difference, reasons to believe, and visual identity. That’s it. Just four things.

You can build a compelling, powerful brand with just these four elements.

The foundation for a great brand is simple. But, there are almost irresistible forces—including your own thinking—that work hard to make it complex. If you let those pressures take control, you will end up with a poorly defined brand that will not help you grow your business.

How do brands become too complex and undermine their own success? Here are the most common ways.

A small company’s brand should be simple, simple, simple. And, branding can be simple if you make the hard choices.

But, as the famous quote says, “Any darn fool can make something complex; it takes a genius to make something simple.”

Building a great brand is all about keeping it simple. But, it takes lots of very hard, very smart work.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Maura Mitchell is the managing partner of Brandology, a marketing and management consulting firm that grows consumer product companies’ sales and profits with practical, effective advice. In 1999, Maura founded Brandology in the San Francisco Bay Area. Since then, she has become a trusted advisor, providing practical guidance that drives results for clients including Clif Bar, Safeway, Peet’s Coffee and Blue Diamond. Our expertise includes branding and positioning, marketing strategy, growth plans, and digital marketing plans. You can learn more about Brandology at www.Brandology.com, subscribe to Brandology’s newsletter at http://www.brandology.com/newsletter.htm or follow Maura on Twitter at @MauraBrandology.