Branding and Marketing can sometimes be intertwined and confusing. PostcardMania CEO, Joy Gendusa, recently sat down with branding expert David Brier. Let’s look at some questions about branding and what it can tell you about your marketing.
1. So what is branding?
According to Brier, branding is “The Art of Differentiation”. What makes you different than your competitors? Are you more convenient? Is there a particular niche that you occupy? These are what will determine your brand.
2. What does branding do for a business?
When you can accent your differentiation, your brand, you can put all of your competitors in the category of “average” in your prospects’ eyes. This is the power of a strong brand!
3. How do you tell if your brand is weak?
There is a balance between your price point and your perceived value. If your brand isn’t differentiated from competition, when two competitors’ brand strength is perceived as equal, customers will simply go with the cheapest option. If your prices are the only thing driving in customers, you know your brand isn’t very strong in and of itself.
Marketing the right way can build your differentiation, or brand, by getting the word out about what makes your company extraordinary, and what makes your competitors average.
Please, take a minute to watch my interview with David Brier about branding and marketing. In the interview David discusses what it takes to build a brand. And don’t forget to leave comments and let us know what your think!
Joy: Hi, I’m Joy Gendusa, founder and CEO of PostcardMania. You are about to watch an interview with longtime branding and marketing expert, David Brier. David has worked with companies such as Joanna Vargas, The New York City Ballet, the Cooked Egg and many more. David tells us about his strategies and even a secret or two. So enjoy. Okay. So rule number two. Look over your brand to find the average. I’m not quoting that. I couldn’t cut and paste into my notes. So I had to type everything.
Joy: Can you give me an example of how to do this? How to look at your brand and see what’s average? I was trying to do it. I was looking at my brand and trying to figure out what was average about it. And I just felt stumped.
Joy: It’s not that I looked at my brand and thought, “It’s not average, it’s so amazing.” I didn’t think that at all.
Joy: I just didn’t understand how to do the exercise.
David: Okay. In my experience I would say probably 80% to 90% of companies will sort of accept things as they are. In other words, they’ll go along with the way everyone’s done it, which kind of is the common acceptable average. Well, like I gave the example with the insurance company. It’s like if everyone’s doing blah which is the average, what if you change the convenience point? I’ll give you an example that I had heard about which I thought was brilliant. Everybody knows that banks kind of have their hours, and they’re not terribly convenient for people in business. They open up at 8:00 in the morning, and they close at around 3:00 in the afternoon, in that ball park. Well, that’s not very convenient for business people. It’s convenient for live-at-home moms or out of work people.
Joy: It’s convenient for bank employees.
David: It’s convenient for bank employees. Now the thing is that everybody knows that that’s the way it is. So there was one brilliant company I had heard about probably about three years ago. What they did is they said, “You know what? We’re going to actually open up banks which will be open 24/7. And they will all have red roofs.” So now you’re driving through New York, and you see the red roof. Two things you immediately think of. One is they’re open. And two is every other bank is closed. It immediately put every other bank in the category of average by the fact that they did something extraordinary.
Joy: That’s cool. What bank is it?
David: I never caught the name of the bank. I only had heard this little anecdote that one of my colleagues told me. And I said, “Brilliant.”
Joy: Yes. So this is great in terms of step one of branding.
Joy: They’re not broadcasting it loudly enough.
Joy: You don’t know the name of the bank, and I don’t know the name of the bank. I’ve never heard of it.
David: It’s the Red Roof Bank.
Joy: It’s the Red Roof Bank. Is that the Red Roof Inn or Red Roof Bank? Yes, okay. Good. They need to look at how their processes are. How the customer view’s working with that industry as a whole.
Joy: And how they can then say how can I make this better and more comfortable and more convenient for the customer?
David: That’s correct.
David: They have to step back and look at the bigger picture from the viewpoint of their customer. Because the error is let me solve my problem for my little world, right? You’ve got to step back. Your customer has lots of options. They can Google and they’ll have 70,000 results in one second. Okay? There’s your competition. It’s not only online or local, whatever it is. There’s no shortage of competition. So in that scheme of the real world, how are you going to change it enough so that you’ve given that customer or client a compelling reason to say, “I’ve read this about you. And you interest me.”
Joy: OK, good. I like it. Now say it again, the four words. It’s the art of?
David: The Art of Differentiation.
Joy: The Art of Differentiation, OK.
David: Can I embellish a point on that?
Joy: Yes, please do.
David: So here’s the thing. If you and I are shopping for something, and we see things that are all kind of the same. In fact, let me give you a great example. Let’s say I’ve got two bottles of water right here. So this is a 16 ounce bottle of water, Brand A. And this is a 16 ounce bottle of water, Brand B. And I say, “Here you go, which one would you like to buy?” They pretty much look the same. There’s no distinguished difference between the two. So neither of them has really done any branding. They’ve just bottled it. Here’s your 16 ounces of water, and here’s your 16 ounces of water. Here, which one would you like? And you’re looking, and you’re looking. You’re trying to determine. And you know what? If there’s no differentiation that you can make because of anything the manufacturer has done, what conclusion do you come to?
Joy: The cheaper one.
David: Which one’s cheaper?
Joy: I want the cheaper one.
David: Exactly. So the thing is that you have this issue. You have a factor of value, and you have a factor of price. If price is the reason why people are buying you, then you’re differentiation, your value is not being made important enough. So that is the thing. You have that sameness at the bottom of the scale. That’s when you know you’re not doing it. You’re not doing justice to your brand. And as it moves up, and you really start getting that, “Wait a second. We’re not like so and so. We’re not like so and so, and all of this.” And people start to go wow, they’re different because of X, Y, Z, da, da, da. Bang. There’s your Art of Differentiation. There’s branding.
Joy: That is a great definition and a great explanation. And I know that there’s not one customer that does business with me, or that’s reading my blog that’s thinking to themselves, “Well, I want to be the cheapest.”
David’s $120 book is now finally available as an ebook for just $13.99!
About the book: David Brier’s book has been called “the bible of branding” and has had the honor of being in the libraries of the late Steve Jobs and Donald Trump. Knowing the power of image, award-winning brand strategist and Fast Company expert blogger David Brier wrote this 123-page, full-color book on the eight principles that give a brand the edge, but not merely in words.
He SHOWS the reader, with over 100 full-color photos and images, exactly how to do it to increase the sales and presence of any business, no matter the industry, no matter the size of the company, no matter the obstacles. SEE how it’s done by a modern master of branding.