That which we call a rose: What’s in a brand?

Big names like AT&T, VW, Kia and more spent millions to produce and air the best promotions they could for the Super Bowl. For the sake of the brand.

What is a brand name?

Define brand” can call up a ton of answers. Run it through Google and you’ll more than a few gagillion hits of blogs defining what “brand” means.

There is the brand and what it represents. Strong brands transcend their products and services. Two of my, everyone’s favorite examples of the brand promise are Apple and Disney.

Apple isn’t just about computers, smartphones and MP3 players. The Apple brand stands for elegant design, intuitive functionality, cool gadgets and so much more.

Walt Disney World doesn’t sell hotel rooms, meals and roller coaster rides. It’s about magic and family, those moments that stay with you. It’s about the experience that you want to relive each generation.

Transformers: from a brand to more, or less

More than a name. So-called genericide is when a brand name becomes the generic term for their industry, product. Kleenex, Zipper, Xerox, the marketing texts are filled with examples. Here in Atlanta, all sodas are Cokes; to me at least.

FedEx has become a verb to ship, to Photoshop is to assault unsuspecting pictures with strutting Leo photobombs, to Google IS to search, period.

When brand becomes a punch line. Valeria Maltoni referenced an old video about what would happen if Microsoft packaged and marketed the iPod. Had never seen it and all I can say is truth really IS funnier, smarter, truer, stranger than fiction. LMAO.

Two tweets caught me eye last week:

Right now, you don’t want your brand to be the Kenneth Cole of anything. UPDATE: You can add Groupon to the bad branding list, per their Super Bowl ads.

Your small business brand matters.

You’re the local choice, the Atlanta option. The “big names” may have size and awareness, you have adaptability, flexibility and drive. You’re the neighbor, the friend, the one with a relationship who gets their needs. Your brand is what what helps make your business different.

Agree, disagree, have a brand joke to share? Please do.

Photo credit: these unmotivational posters always crack me up.

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8 thoughts on “That which we call a rose: What’s in a brand?

  1. Being in Chicago, you would not believe what we’re hearing here about the Groupon ad. The Tribune tore into them. Crain’s is disgusted. Andrew Mason pretty much said, “If you don’t get it, that’s not our problem.” Yeah…this is bigger than a bad ad. You know that $6B you walked away from? That’s the most money you’ll ever see. I’m willing to bet my life on it.

    1. Yeah, I drafted this post before the game but HAD to update it. There’s edgy, there is sardonic, there is meta getting to deeper meanings while making fun of something with a knowing nod and wink. Groupon did none of this, which is marketing fail #2. Someone really thought these ads were good. WTH?

      Marketing fail #1, which Summer’s Eve did last year: Someone let this run for millions but didn’t bother with any focus testing. WTH?!!!!

      You can’t tell me than any group of even 100 testers, at least some wouldn’t get it which SHOULD be Mason’s problem. For every person that liked the ads, there’d have to be those who didn’t or veered into deeply offended territory. I’d never heard of Living Social before the Super Bowl and realized they were a competitor the second I saw the ad. Now they’re looking like a damn fine alternative and Groupon’s marketing fails may be their gain. We’ll see.

    1. Links are my way of saying, “See I’m not just making this shit up, someone else out there sorta agrees with me.” It’s part of blogging: read, comment, share, link to develop the community. Relevancy is key: I work with small businesses, so links to the rarified air of some Top 50 bloggers don’t always apply; gotta find the good stuff for SMBs. Thanks.

    1. Exactly Dave. Brands that transcend to be more than sum of their departments b/c they think that way. They don’t compartmentalize as much, respect that HR touches everything they do, that someone from tech support can have the next “big idea” as much as someone from R&D. Thanks.

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