Showing posts from October, 2008

Branding when there is no brand

Be aware that you will sometimes need to brand when there is no brand. To create consistency when none exists. To develop guidelines when you know they will be retracted later on. Take the Total Branding approach and accept this reality as a given. Don't get upset - take it as an opportunity to expand your skills in strategic thinking and implementation. Remember that

1. The brand exists anyway - whether or not someone "decides" that it does
2. There is never such a thing as total brand alignment; and
3. Even partial alignment is better than none.

Now get out there and do your best.

Total Branding and Social Media - Can These Seemingly Opposing Paradigms Be Reconciled?

Usually people don't think of branding and social media as opposites. They just talk about how to deliver the brand through social media. But in point of fact, from a certain perspective, branding and social media represent two completely different paradigms:
Branding is about delivering a consistent message to create a consistent imageSocial media is about saying whatever you want to say without regard to imageThe way I see it is as follows:The goal of branding should be the creation of a message that is consistent yet authentic.That way, whatever social media results from the brand (whether it's Tweets, blog posts, comments, or whatever), it will sound like you. Don't lose sight of the importance of linking branding and social media together. If your brand is phony your social media will destroy your image.To avoid the phony brand syndrome, here is one practical thing you can do: Think from a Total Branding perspective--maximum alignment for maximum impact--no brand is ev…

Total branding and the financial crisis

Total Branding is about aligning an organization's functions with its culture and communication despite the fact that achieving total alignment is realistically impossible. In an absence of total alignment you basically do the best you can.

We see this approach in action with respect to the bailout. Both candidates are trying to align their operations with their culture and communication for maximum impact in an environment where:

1. There is cultural dissension within each side about how to fix the situation (e.g. the bailout bill is contested)

2. There appears to be inability or resistance within each side to communcating about how it happened, except to vaguely blame "Wall Street"

3. The public is divided about what it wants--bailout vs. no bailout

As a result, from a Total Branding perspective, here is how I look at the candidates' approaches to the issue:

1. Demonstrate functional competence - good job on both sides but undifferentiated: Say that they are serving the …