As you may have read recently, we are nothing less than thrilled to have been short-listed for a Chartered Institute of Marketing’s (CIM) prestigious national award, in the SME category for Brand Management.
On sharing the news I subsequently got asked by one of my relatives what branding is about.
So I actually thought I would put finger-to- keyboard and share some thoughts with you. I’ve done this unusually as three parts – as not to provide chapter and verse or make you nod off!
My relative in question ventured a guess that we had a new logo and wondered if it was this that had bought such a spotlight on us.
We haven’t. We have been consistent and used the same logo we have always used over the past seven or so years.
For me having a brand or branding is partially about our name (whether it’s via our logo or not), and its ability to deliver a promise.
It is about creating an association to help manage expectations, so others can differentiate us against competitors in the security and defence marketplace.
The branding challenge was to ensure that we are remembered for the right reasons; positioning ourselves correctly but effectively.
Let me take you back a few years to my university days. One of my very first lectures on branding introduced semiotics, essentially meaning-making. It was a thought provoking exercise that has stayed somewhere in my head and I suspect planted an early seed of importance as a marketer.
Referring to brands of the time, we were asked a series of question by our lecturer like:
1. If ‘Coca Cola’ were a colour what would it be?
2. Which animal would ‘Ferrari’ be?
3. If Walkers Crisps were represented by a personality, who would it be?
We were bet that more than half of us would have the same answer. So if you are playing along the common theme answers were: 1) red 2) stallion/black horse and 3) Gary Lineker.
Subsequently we discussed red being the colour of power and compassion, the stallion representing power and speed, while Leicester’s Gary is a nice guy, with an irresistible element of fun that can be enjoyed – just like the crisps … or at least roughly that was how I remembered it.
The exercise was about creating an association, an image or a connotation and then being able to transpose it.
This is something that clearly developed and I have taken with me and have better understood over the past couple of decades.
I leave you with thought of Mr Lineker today. Learn how it was applied in tomorrow’s blog