TJ Kelly

Your Brand Sucks: Branding Strategies & Tips

Your brand sucks. Seriously, it’s garbage. Scrap it and start over. Here’s why your brand sucks: you don’t know what branding is.

The Myth

Most people think branding is a collective identity comprised of logos, websites, graphics, color schemes, print promos, stationary, etc. Most peolple think that branding success follows a formula similar to witty name + catchy slogan + fancy graphics × social networks = strong brand. Most people are wrong.

The Good News

That stuff still matters. Don’t fire your designers or throw out your promo material. These things are part of your brand, they’re just not the whole piece. They’re visual representations of your brand. Granted, they are usually the most identifiable pieces, but in the end, they are not the most important parts of your brand.

The Bad News

The bad news is that real branding—the important stuff—is even harder than the visual part.

What is Branding?

Branding is a conversation. Branding is the process of evoking an emotional response from consumers. Branding is associating a feeling with your organization. Branding is not about what your logo looks like. It’s about who you are. It’s an association of your name with your reputation. Spend less time worrying about stamping your logo all over the place and more time worrying about your prime directive.

I’ve intentionally left this post rather vague. What’s good branding strategy for one company might be bad for another, and I’m no expert. But I’ve done enough reading and studying of marketing to understand that branding is often blamed for a lot of problems that aren’t its fault.

What’s the point?

A great logo won’t save a failing company and a bad logo won’t kill a great company. Brand yourself as a “great company” by acting that way and everything else will fall in place.

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