Heavy-Ass Weights & Brand Building Blocks

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I recently came across a quote from 8-time Mr. Olympia Ronnie Coleman that made me think about brand building blocks. The guy’s undeniably got a way with words:

“Everybody wants to be a bodybuilder.  But nobody wants to lift no heavy-ass weights.”

Heed this man’s lessons or he’ll bench-press you into next week.

When I present to or train brand leaders, I’ll often ask them what they hope to achieve with their branding efforts.  Almost always, I’ll hear some variation of the following:

Continue reading “Heavy-Ass Weights & Brand Building Blocks”

The Long Haul of Branding

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After a recent presentation, an audience member asked for my opinion on the most common misconception about branding.

It was an easy question to answer. It’s the idea that branding is an initiative.  That it’s something that requires a brief investment of attention and time, and can then be moved down the priority list. This way of thinking suggests that branding is a sprint.  But it’s not.  It’s more like marathon.  It’s a commitment for the long haul. Continue reading “The Long Haul of Branding”

So You Want to Build Your Brand?

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“I want to build my brand!” declares Tom confidently.

I ask Tom what he means, exactly. I’m pretty sure I know what to expect, and he doesn’t disappoint.

“I want my company to be the one everybody knows – the one that leaps to mind when they need products like ours!”

Sally’s goal is to turn her product into a brand. For her, branding is all about sales: “The stronger my brand, the more I sell,” she explains. Continue reading “So You Want to Build Your Brand?”

Want What Nike Has? You Gotta Earn It.

(Reading Time: 4 minutes)

At a recent branding seminar, I asked attendees what they hoped to achieve with their branding efforts. One guy exclaimed, “I want what Nike has – instant name recognition!” Around the room, many heads nodded in agreement.

Over the years, I’ve asked clients, prospects and colleagues that question hundreds of times, and a fair percentage of replies are along those lines. Maybe it’s Starbucks or Target instead of Nike; maybe they want their brand to be a “badge” or have “a logo everyone knows.”

So why do so few brands achieve those results? Because most brands don’t earn them. They want the quick fix. They want to play it safe. Or they want something for nothing. Continue reading “Want What Nike Has? You Gotta Earn It.”