Brand Building



Do you minimize the worth of your brand? If you’re doing the following, you could be doing it.

Increasing your personal brand’s value in the eyes of your prospects, in-person or virtually, is the goal of brand building. Prospects will be more eager to pay more for your goods and services and more devoted to your brand, and the value of your rivals’ brands will seem less valued in contrast to the more valuable your brand is regarded to be.

Unfortunately, many people (personal brands) systematically undervalue themselves without even being aware of it. And before they even understand what is happening, their brand has lost all value, and it will be tough to get it back.

Do you minimize the worth of your brand? If you’re doing the following, you could be doing it.

1. Having a poor presentation

Your audience’s attention will be lost due to poor presentation flow. People will have difficulty understanding you, and rather than trying to figure out what you’re saying, they will tune you out.

When a presentation has a natural flow, and the information is organized logically, it is simpler to express your argument. When your sales executives’ presentation abilities are lacking, your sales proposals lose their effectiveness, and you fall short of your sales goals, affecting your revenues and brand development.

In addition, it affects repeat business, cash flows and lost opportunities when your personal brand fails to make an impressive presentation to customers and investors.

2. Poor grooming and hygiene

Qualifications, experience and skills all matter, but so is how your brand is presented. Who we are is revealed by how we look. Perceptions matter and personal brand grooming should project a professional image at work.

Therefore, we must pay close attention to how we look (visual image) and stand (body language). Style and discipline come together to make up grooming. Maintaining personal cleanliness is essential for a variety of reasons — personal, social, health, psychological or just as a matter of everyday living.

To make a good impression and get respect at work (and in life), one must maintain proper grooming and a professional look. First impressions count, and how businesses present themselves and behave impacts current and potential customers.

All brands value professional appearance and proper grooming. The absence of these may result in a negative perception and interfere with the company’s reputation and brand.

3. Letting yourself get behind the times

Your competition will overtake you as soon as you stop moving forward and trying to better your goods and services. You cannot simply take it easy.

Prospects now have more options than ever, and your rivals constantly look for ways to outdo you and gain an advantage. To keep your brand valuable and relevant, you must continue innovating.

4. Being a sell-out

Ever had a favourite brand that abruptly altered its sound and shot to fame? We all detest it when it occurs, known as selling out.

Unfortunately, businesses also carry out this. They begin seeking financial gain, and to win over more clients, they alter their identities and compromise their values. You lose the trust of your devoted customers when you betray your brand interest to increase your income, which eventually destroys the value of your brand.

5. Offering too many deals

Most brands frequently lower their pricing with special discounts to attract more customers. With the advent of daily deal websites like Groupon and LivingSocial, you’re starting to see this even more. When you run too many sales, buyers begin to think that your product is only worth the sale price, not the total price, since they see you selling it at such a low price.

People also do this. Never undersell your value; it will damage your reputation.

6. Social media conduct: inflammatory content

Social media networks, mainly those often targeted toward a kind of media that favours a broadcast approach, such as Twitter or Instagram, are one of the most open spaces where your behaviour will be on show.

This shouldn’t, at its most fundamental level, offend anyone. However, it is up to you and your organization to decide whether to individually reveal any sensitive information, such as your opinions on social or political topics.

Sharing material about divisive issues frequently runs the danger of alienating a portion of your audience. On the other hand, consumers like businesses that take a stand, which has sparked the growth of value-led branding tactics.

7. Inconsistency

Maintaining a consistent persona across your targeted social media outlets is crucial since muddled messages and a confused persona may be highly detrimental to your company.

In addition, a consistent identity across your online presence must also extend to how you act in person; otherwise, your performance at a networking event or business meeting may quickly undercut it. Tone, style, and substance are all governed by consistency.

8. Lack of professionalism

The perception of unprofessionalism might be highly detrimental to your brand.

Although various types of behaviour might be considered unprofessional, general guidelines disallow excessive alcohol use, sexual or improper statements and insulting behaviour.

In addition, remember that rumours can spread quickly, so inappropriate conduct in a low-stakes setting could be reported promptly to more significant individuals.

9. Wardrobe – your visual power

What you see is what you get when it comes to branding. That is, at least, how prospective consumers will feel. It’s up to the brand to gain that type of trust. They won’t have any reason to give a visually unappealing brand the benefit of the doubt. A brand’s visual identity is “what you see” in branding.

First impressions are crucial and always will be, especially while developing and growing your personal brand. Whether you like it or not, your work outfit reflects who you are and how you do business.

10. Lack of direction

Consider the audience that your branding is intended to reach. Trying to please everyone is a definite way to lose a reputation. Instead, choose and stick to a specialty, then use this niche to find related content and create relevant networks in-person and on social media platforms like LinkedIn and Twitter.


Developing your brand would be a fatal blow because its worth should increase along with your career or business’s growth. But unfortunately, any of these outcomes are possible.

For your insurance, you must be alert and take all necessary precautions to safeguard your personal and business brand against these potential sources of brand depreciation.


Sourced from Entrepreneur

By William Parker

DTC brands must take a page from the CPG book if they want to grow

Les Binet and Peter Field pioneered research on the value of a 60-40 spend on brand building versus sales activation messaging. This mix has shown the right balance of driving short-term sales for growing the brand as a whole and can lead to sustained revenue growth and acquisition of new markets while simultaneously keeping a brand from tapping out a single customer base.

This is great insight, but many DTC brands don’t have the budget or interest to spend 60% of their marketing dollars on brand growth, something difficult to measure or understand.

The combination of easily optimized, digital sales activation channels with cost-efficient distribution has created a new breed of rapid-growth DTC companies that fill niche gaps left by larger, hard-to-transition CPG organizations. Many of these DTC and rapid-growth companies have found great success prioritizing sales activation messaging alone.

This allows for rapid growth, but eventually depletes core audiences. Cost per acquisition begins to rise to unprofitable levels and a DTC brand faces a looming revenue decline.

At some point, even DTC companies that want to maintain some autonomy in their distribution network must expand beyond their immediate consumer base and engage in more broad, typical CPG activities like mass awareness and brand building. To become dominant in their category, DTC brands must be willing to transform their media, message and measurement.

Media mix: Transition to cost-effective, broad-reach vehicles

One pitfall of only using sales activation channels is that they only represent a small portion of the total potential marketplace. Marketers can leverage existing consumer profile information to build an expanded target that is not overly restrictive. The goal is to capitalize on a new, untouched consumer base.

A transition to 60% brand messaging doesn’t have to happen overnight, as brands can (and should) slowly test into larger mass-reach media channels. One concern with larger channels is maintaining adequate frequency. Brands must find high-reach opportunities that match their budget and consolidate spend within select channels to ensure the frequency and flight of this media into shorter spurts to understand its true effect.

One way to leverage existing audience data is to do an analysis of current buyers. Find which types of people over-index in purchasing the product compared to the population at large. This could be a strong indication that these types of people really enjoy the product and others like them may as well.

Take these insights and expand the target to not just those who are likely to purchase a product (as done in conversion strategy) but those that share similar traits to people who are. This will increase your overall reach without trying to hit the entire national market.

Brands can start with 10-15% of the overall media budget and test into each new channel, funding these efforts enough to get market feedback and slowly grow the budgets over time. Yes, even performance brands can find success in TV.

Message: Transition from sales activism to brand building

Many DTC brands leverage logic-based messages over emotive ones. This works great to drive short-term sales but may limit a brand’s ability for long-term growth. It trains consumers to be sensitive to things like price, promotion or features and fails to drive an irrational love of a brand.

Big brands capitalize on impulsive buying through emotional messaging that builds over time. It’s ideal to create a connection with your audience beyond a transactional relationship.

One place to start is to onboard a team to lead this effort. Brand building and sales teams are typically composed of very different personalities. If that’s not possible, start with your consumers and the relevant category. Find a nonrational reason to love the product.

McDonald’s doesn’t talk about how technically good their hamburgers are, they simply chirp that when a customer eats one, they’re “lovin’ it.” Nike doesn’t go into product specs in a 30-second TV ad, they tell us their products help athletes “just do it.”

Unique selling propositions are for rational sales models. These brands have traded product differentiation for product distinction that helps the brand stand out in the crowd. Find out what is missing in the marketplace and fill that gap.

Measurement: Transition from direct attribution to cross-channel contribution

DTC media channels can be easy to measure and quick to optimize. Last-touch attribution is the bread and butter for rapid growth but only tells part of the story, particularly when it comes to building a brand. Brands must leverage multiple measurement solutions to triangulate results and identify channels, strategies and tactics that are working best.

When moving into offline strategies like linear TV, OOH, radio and podcasts, many DTC brands are exploring marketing mix modelling (MMM) as a comprehensive solution. This is also true for brands that market primarily within digital because walled gardens and the iOS 14 update have made it difficult to directly tie media exposure to conversion.

MMM also has the advantage, when done right, to provide insight into marketing’s impact on KPIs beyond sales, allowing for true war-gaming against short- and long-term goals. Additionally, there are new and innovative multi-touch attribution solutions that can bridge the online-offline divide through things like automatic content recognition to help tie TV exposures to a DTC sale.

Many brands leverage experimentation to try new things and bring learnings to larger campaigns. No measurement solution is perfect, which is why it’s key to leverage multiple approaches and put extra effort into your integration strategy.

Sustained DTC growth: Building a brand

There comes a point when every DTC brand must consider investing in larger brand building activities, and it is important to begin making that transition before fully exhausting cost-per-acquisition media tactics. Brand building requires a large and sustained presence, but one that will pay off in the long run.

There is no such thing as a niche brand, only small ones, and small brands often struggle to remain relevant for long. If you’re wondering if it is time to begin the transition, it probably is.

Feature Image Credit: Malte Mueller/Getty Images

By William Parker

William Parker is the vice president of client strategy at Leavened, adjunct professor and board member for the Branding + Integrated Communications Master of Professional Studies program at the City College of New York and a member of our Adweek Academic Council.

Sourced from ADWEEK

By Nick Barthram

The antidote to a lack of audience attention isn’t being quicker, it’s being interesting. Despite being bombarded with ads, clickbait, and 15-second viral videos, when creating a brand story, quicker isn’t better, better is better. The truth is, humanity isn’t changing as fast as the algorithms would have us believe. We still crave nuance, a good story, and a meaningful experience. And that’s what your brand needs to deliver if it wants any chance of making a difference.

It’s no secret that people are struggling with reduced attention spans as they are bombarded by a cacophony of information. Everything else is becoming quicker and ‘snackable’ to fit into people’s fragmented lives: TikTok’s short-form meteoric rise is mirrored in some mainstream TV programming running in 15-minute episodes and a cultural shift from ‘experiences’ to ‘moments’. Even my local supermarket is in on it, selling ‘speedy sausages’ so you can spend less time cooking and more time scrolling.

For those of us involved in the brand-building business, this is turning into consistent recommendations from media agencies to only use 6 seconds or 15 seconds because “that’s all the audience has time for.” By this logic, it seems their antidote to the lack of attention is to be quick: Iknowyou’rereallybusybutlookatmyproductthanks.

But how can you be interesting in 6 seconds?

The thing is, human beings haven’t fundamentally changed in the last 50 years – I doubt we’ve changed much in thousands – and our attention is still captured by stories, by heroes and villains, by high stakes, by novel ideas, and by exciting discoveries. And for those of us who are not able to tell a story in a haiku or rival Hemingway’s famous six-word story, “For Sale: Baby shoes, never worn.“, that means being interesting means taking time.

What works for modern brand-building is taking the time to be interesting.

– Nick Barthram, Founder and Strategy Partner @ Firehaus

I was recently involved in a protracted argument with a media agency about including any ad longer than 15 seconds in a brand-building YouTube ads campaign. We eventually compromised with an A/B test. And guess what? The 60-second ad massively outperformed the 15-second one. So much so that if we had only used the 60-second ad, we would have tripled the time viewers spent with the brand after the YouTube skip button appeared. Click-through rates – while less important – were also better for the longer ads.

We were told, “Maybe it’s just a coincidence.” So, we tried it again on another campaign – not our creative this time – and lo and behold the longer format outperformed the shorter one. The chart below shows just how much more attention the longer formats were able to hold – if we had only shown the first 15 seconds of each, they would have still outperformed the carefully constructed shorter ads:

The recent ‘How it started vs. How it’s going’ trend on Marketing Twitter features people comparing famous old ads with their modern counterparts. It ignited a debate, and the defenders of the new cry that us dinosaurs championing the classics (I’m still in my thirties) have a failed understanding of modern media. Maybe some of the examples are a little too cherry-picked, but they’re missing the point – what works for modern media platforms is short content so that they can fit more ads in and make more dollars. What works for modern brand-building is taking the time to be interesting.

The irony is that most campaigns that win effectiveness awards (you know, the ones that worked) are all based around longer content. Recently, Cadburys and VCCP won the prestigious IPA Effectiveness Grand Prix with a campaign kickstarted by a brilliantly evocative and emotional story, delivered in 60 seconds.

Now that is how you do it right. The campaign was responsible for a 22% increase in sales equating to £261m over the three years it ran. It worked. Yes, there were 15-second cut-downs, there were activation ads with strong product messaging, and it wasn’t all down to one 60-second spot. But the point is, all of that was built out from the story. They didn’t start with a time limit and see what they could squeeze in.

As Howard Gossage said: “Nobody reads advertising. People read what interests them, and sometimes it’s an ad.” It was true back then and it’s true now. Give your brand time to be interesting, put resources behind being interesting, and people will reward you with their attention.

So, the next time you think about building your brand, give your brand more than 15 seconds to tell a story.

Feature Cover Image: Stanislav

By Nick Barthram

Nick Barthram is the Founder and Strategy Partner at Firehaus. Nick ensures everything is focused on business growth – rooted in evidence and insight. Having held marketing strategy and research roles in a number of agencies, he’s helped countless businesses find their purpose and embed it in their communications and behavior. He has driven growth for large brands such as Continental, Danone, and ITV, and helped scale others like ASOS, Zwift, and Cycliq.

Sourced from Bm


B2B marketers can be very focused on the short term, and who can blame them? Sales are putting on the pressure for a constant stream of leads and business leaders have quarterly targets to hit to keep the shareholders at bay.

It’s this short term thinking that means the majority of activity produced by B2B marketing teams is below the line, bottom of the funnel, sales ‘activation’ activity (call it the boring stuff) and not the bigger, fame and brand building advertising activity that the majority of B2C brands seem focus on (the glamorous stuff).

Now, couple this with the fact that the average tenure of a CMO is now just 43 months (and that new incumbent wants to shake things up and make their mark on the business), and it’ll come as no surprise that only 4% of B2B marketing teams measure impact beyond six months.

But a new report from the B2B Institute and LinkedIn, packed with research from Advertising Effectiveness stalwarts Les Binet and Peter Field, says this short-sightedness is damaging the growth potential of B2B brands.

According to ‘The 5 principles of growth in B2B Marketing’, in order to grow, B2B marketers need to start shifting efforts (and budgets) towards a 50/50 split between short term activation activity and long term brand building (the stuff that makes you famous).

However, it’s pretty clear we are starting on the back foot. B2B marketers are incredibly sceptical about the value of brand building and many have a misconstrued view of the effect brand building has on the business.

Just 30% of B2B marketers, for example, believe advertising has an effect on pricing power and only 50% believe reach is a strong predictor of success. It’s pretty clear businesses need to start thinking differently about longer term brand building. But as with any shift, there has to be a strong reason to do so.

So, we have distilled the findings from the report into four arguments you can take to your board/sceptical CMO to convince them to put more budget into longer term brand building, B2B advertising and fame defining campaigns and activities.

Argument one: “Look! You can’t argue with the facts – brand building will build our market share and our bottom line.”

Let’s start with a fundamental rule. The share of voice rule. A rule that has been known and stayed consistent for the last 50 years. The rule goes thus: brands that set their share of voice (share of all category advertising expenditure) above their share of market, will tend to grow.

This has been well known in B2C, but Binet and Field have shown the trend is true in B2B – a 10% extra share of voice, for example, will lead to a rise in market share of 0.7% per year.

Put simply: shout louder than the competition in a way that gets you noticed and you will expand. That alone is worth the investment.

Argument two: “We can kill two birds with one stone with this! Not only will brand building attract new customers, but it’s a great way to reassure our current customers they have made the right choice and feel proud about being our partner.”

Put simply, brands grow in two ways, either by gaining more customers, or by selling more to current customers. In B2B, the focus is often put on the latter thanks to new customer acquisition costs being high. But this piece of research shows us that actually the best way to achieve real growth is to acquire new customers, meaning more has to be put into activity to attract them.

But shifting budgets to attract new customers doesn’t have to come at the cost of current customers – putting money into brand campaigns also helps reassure existing customers they have made the right choice (and means they can show off to their mates in the pub about working with a cool, well known brand.)

Argument three: “Don’t trust me, trust Danny Khaneman! We need to be the brand that is the easiest to choose when a potential customer is shopping around.”

While everyone seems to think B2B buyers are purely rational beings, the truth is just like anyone else, many of the decisions they make are not made on purely rational thoughts or processes but on brands, products and services that are the most ‘mentally available’. As the economist Daniel Kahneman says, “the brain is largely a machine for jumping to conclusions”.

This is due to the Availability Heuristic – a rule that says given the choice between several options, people prefer the one that comes to mind most easily. It’s the reason that when you are shopping you are most likely to pick up Fairy washing up liquid and Kelloggs cornflakes, rather than unknown brands.

Maximising mental availability, or being the easiest brand to choose to buy, is just as important in B2B as in B2C and the best way to do this is to build fame through brand building campaigns.

Argument four: “A suit isn’t a shield for emotions! After all, Business people are people too, they just happen to be at work. So we need to use the power of emotion to ensure people engage with our brand. And guess what? The best way to do that is long term advertising campaigns.”

As a marketer, one of your key aims should be to make people feel positively towards your brand, even if they can’t say why. That comes from creating emotions and feelings around your brand and positioning yourself in a way that becomes more firmly embedded in a buyer’s memory than functional product messages.

This will translate into real business results, thanks to the fact that if we like a brand (or feel a positive emotion towards it) we are more likely to hold positive beliefs about its benefits. And it shows in the results – emotion based, fame building campaigns outperform rational ones by a margin of 10x. Even the tightest CFO can’t say no to that.

B2B marketers need to need to take off those short term blinkers and start thinking about how we build brands that grow, become famous and build the business over the long term. While the short term activation activity is still key, we need to start readdressing the balance and we hope this starts today.

A big thanks to The B2B Institute, LinkedIn, as well as Les Binet and Peter Field, for their excellent research on which this whole article is based. You can download the full research report here.


Sourced from The Drum


Achieving brand admiration requires keeping the company’s end game— creating brand equity— in mind. Our brand admiration framework offers unique causal insights into how brand managers can strengthen the equity of a brand, regardless of where in the company’s business hierarchy the brand resides (e.g., a branded product variant, a branded product, a branded business unit, or a branded company). Admired brands induce brand loyalty and brand advocacy behaviors, creating opportunities for efficient profit and growth. Brands that commit to the following have the best chance of reaching the status of the most admired brands.

1. Brand managers should focus on building, strengthening, and leveraging brand admiration because it (1) represents the most desired brand-customer relationship state, and (2) it has enormous payoffs for a brand and a company.

2. Building, strengthening, and leveraging brand admiration is relevant to all types of brands— regardless of whether they are in a B2B or a B2C market, or whether they are products or services, celebrity brands, place brands, or entertainment brands. Some markets (such as B2B markets) will have the most to gain by thinking through the 3Es and identifying opportunities to drive brand admiration, since many are blind to the critical role of enticing and enriching benefits in building and sustaining brand admiration over time.

3. Marketers control the extent to which they build, strengthen, and leverage the admiration of their brand by the extent to which their brand offers benefits that are known to underlie human happiness; that is, the extent to which the brand enables, entices, and enriches customers.

4. Building brand admiration is not limited to external customers. It starts with building brand admiration from within. Given companies’ ongoing efforts to attract and retain talent, internal brand admiration building efforts are critical.

5. Brand managers need to think carefully about customers’ need profiles and how to offer enabling, enticing, and enriching benefits in a consistent and complementary way. These activities build the two foundational components of brand admiration: brand-self connections and top-of-mind recall of a brand.

6. Brand admiration ranges on a continuum from high to low, with some brands being more admired than others. But even the most highly admired brands can use a set of value-enhancement strategies to continually enhance admiration for their brand.

7. Once a brand is admired, companies have the opportunity to leverage brand admiration using product and brand extensions for efficient growth. Good extensions reinforce the brand’s core identity, broaden it to include other associations, and facilitate future growth options.

8. Brand managers have a variety of brand-naming choices when extending their brands. Ideally, brand-naming decisions will be made within the context of the company’s entire brand architecture.

9. It is possible to measure brand equity. Our novel brand equity measure has powerful conceptual and measurement advantages over other financial measures of brand equity.

10. Finally, companies can and should construct a brand admiration dashboard to map brand health over time and identify and prioritize areas in which continued efforts at improvement should be made.

Following this framework will help you reach that precious goal of building and strengthening brand admiration, fostering brand advocacy and loyalty behaviors, and enhancing the financial value of the brand to your organization.

Contributed to Branding Strategy Insider by: C. Whan Park, Deborah MacInnis and Andreas Eisingerich, excerpted from their book, Brand Admiration with permission from Wiley Publishing.

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Sourced from Branding Strategy Insider