13 October 2007

Your Biggest Asset

It's been a while since I posted an actual marketing or brand related post, so...

As a business owner, are you aware of what your largest asset is? Some believe that their biggest asset is their people, some their product and some their tangibles (cash, real estate, investments etc.). While all of these contibute to the wealth and success of a company, the largest asset is in fact, their brand and it's association with how the customer experiences it.

Donald Trump has said that his largest asset is his name and he's absolutely right, his name is his brand. Aside from, "you're fired!", he is also known for building high quality real estate projects - his name is associated with the best when it comes to such projects. The Trump brand equates to high quality and the absolute best in workmanship, materials and service.

Each new project the Donald takes on gets bigger and better, and while there's good money to be made in doing this, a lot of money can also be made in slapping together a couple of really inexpensive projects, perhaps more as the quantities could be much greater. But, the equity in the brand would disappear faster than the air in a novelty whoopee cushion when sat on by an unsuspecting fat kid. The air around the brand however would not be as unblemished as that left by the fake fart.

The effects on a brand are far reaching when a customers expectations are let down buy not getting what they have been promised by years of brand development. A company can spend years nurturing and developing their brand profile and awareness (these are very different) and blow it in one campaign (new coke). The recovery from a brand let down can take years, if it happens at all. That's why it is important to always protect and nurture the brand and treat your brand like a child.

If you think about it, a child has defining characteristics; likes, dislikes, attitudes, looks good in certain colours has emotions and is very unique... just like a brand. The better you get to know and understand your brand the better you are going to get your brand out of diapers and into the real world (do I need to say metaphorically speaking or is it implied here?)

Be a good parent, get to know your brand.

And, always remember, decisions made in every aspect of your business can effect your brand and how it is perceived by customers, employees, suppliers and supporters. Whenever making a decision, it may be wise to ask yourself what would my brand do (WWMBD)? If you ask yourself that prior to a decision, you may not change your mind about the decision, but you may better understand the possible implications on the brand and develop a strategy to deal with it.

Great brands can live on long after the company has gone... the Pop Shoppe is one such example. This brand had great awareness in the 70's but could not continue to operate in the changing dynamic and competitiveness of the soft drink market and shut down eventually. Sure they could have changed their business model to better suit the changing marketplace, but that's another blog.

The Pop Shoppe brand has been resurrected and brought back into the mainstream by some enterprising entrepreneur that saw the value in starting something that was already familiar in the market. Starting any business has its risks, but starting with an already estabished brand has got to help - here is a quote from a customer from the new Pop Shoppe web site:

"I was shopping today at a little deli here in Halifax, Nova Scotia and I found a lone bottle of Pop Shoppe Root beer. I did a double take and smiled. I haven’t seen Pop Shoppe in as much as 20 years! I bought up the bottle and drank my childhood back."

Now, did you pick up on the line, I did a double take and smiled? When it comes down to it, that's the power of a brand and the way a brand should make you react... with feeling and emotion. Obviously, their brand experience twenty years ago was very positive. Now consider this: this is a new product on the shelf, one the customer has never tried (because it's new)... yet, they were able to make that huge impact and the sale I might add, simply based on the familiarity and credibility that the brand gave it. That's what I call powerful marketing stuff.

Anyhoo, bent your ear enough - now go do something productive, like nurture your brand.

2 Comments:

Blogger Opper's said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

10/13/2007 12:38:00 PM  
Blogger Kevin Franco said...

I don't delete any comments usually, however, you post spam or links to unrelated shit you get deleted. It's simple, my blog, my rules - don't advertise your shit in my comments...

10/14/2007 09:51:00 AM  

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