Brian Creath

And Now, The Brand Renaissance.

In Advertising, Brand, Marketing, Messaging, Positioning on May 27, 2009 at 2:07 pm

monarch-butterfly_800x600Those who have called a death to brands have severely underestimated their potential. In fact, as I suggested in an earlier post, brands – true brands – may be the answer to many of our current marketing ills.

In a recent post, entitled, Branding: The Next Generation, Martin Lindstrom of Branding Strategy Insider, says this: “There’s every indication that branding will move…into an even more sophisticated realm — reflecting a brave new world where the consumer desperately needs something to believe in — and where brands very well might provide the answer. I call this realm the HSP — the Holistic Selling Proposition.” Lindstrom’s HSP (Holistic Selling Proposition), follows an evolution that began with Rosser Reeves‘ original USP (Unique Selling Proposition). “Each holistic brand has its own identity, one that is expressed in its every message, shape, symbol, ritual, and tradition — just as sports teams and religion do today.”

True brands — those that can establish honest, credible rapport with customers — will thrive in our new marketing world. And while Lindstrom’s vision of ‘brand nirvana’ for some brands (think Harley-Davidson), is certainly accurate, there is also a place for those brands that simply have a relevant and differentiated premise, act on purpose and keep their promises. These brands listen to customer wants and needs and consistently incorporate comments and feedback back into their evolution and growth.

Not because they have to; but because they want to. Brands that work to become a conduit between company and customer, rather than a top-down contrivance of management, will win in our new marketing world. Those that do not will continue to function as an over-dressed product or service, but not a brand.

The days of so-called ‘branding’ (slapping a contrived name, a cool logo and a generic tagline on a product or service) are over. But the dawn of true brands — born of mutual respect, need and conversation between organizations and audiences — well, those days have just begun.

While I’m working on my next post, I hope you’ll read about how Cohesion helps organizations build stronger messaging to increase consistency, lower cost and drive growth, here.

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  1. Absolutely! Awesome post! I am so happy to see there are professionals like you expressing the dire need for brands to have purpose, substance…true meaning! I have been writing for years that our new conceptual age mandates that brands be genuine – that they be RESPONSIBLE: socially, environmentally, and now more than ever, economically. Anyone who does not embrace this concept will be left in the dust. Thank you, Brian for helping to drive this urgent message home. (Let’s just hope that folks are listening and grasp the meaning of “true!”

  2. Thanks for your comments, Pam.

  3. Hi Brian,

    If brand identities are designed to create both customers’ perceptions and experiences of them, then it seems to me that they’re working simultaneously in the realms of imagination and reality — a truly wonderful combination where innovation thrives: Essentially, where art and science meet. To form an elegant whole.

    I’m a relatively new member of a Zentrepreneurs group which also advocates a holistic approach to being genuine as a person and through business. I believe as you’ve written, that the days of a brand chasing the cash register ring are over and that what we produce, market and sell has to stand for something, mean something, have an impact, make a point. PURPOSE. As we in the U.S. move quickly to re-engage a sense of purpose to our lives so too, it stands to reason, do we apply this sense of purpose to our Stuff and Why We Want/Buy/Have/Use It.

    Well said. Thank you.

  4. Brian, Great post. I specialize in Healthcare Brands and your words couldn’t be more true. When truly discerning between healthcare offerings and faced with nearly unlimited choices today, only the True Brands will stand above the rest. Keep writing.
    Candace Quinn, Brand=Experience, CEO

  5. […] marketing is about the long view. Building credible, sustainable brands. Creating honest and relevant dialog with customers. Building business trust and value for the […]

  6. Amen. Thanks for bringing some sanity to the day. We all need to spread and practice this word to save the marketing reputation!

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