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 image
  • Social media is about saying whatever you want to say without regard to image

The 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 ever fully aligned.

In the real world, this means: Discover what organizational elements are getting in the way of your delivery of a consistent brand message and try to eliminate them from public view. You won't be completely successful, but you can probably get rid of some of the offending communications clutter. And some is better than none.

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