What Is A Brand and How Can I Get One?
It may not have been the exact moment that I decided every definition of “brand” I had ever heard was inadequate, but it was close. I had been sitting in a meeting with a potential client and I talked a lot — I tend to do that — about brands and branding. I get excited about the work, so I’m talking about all of the great potential. I was painting a rosy picture of this client’s future and he turned and said, “OK. You’ve convinced me. I need a brand. So how do I get one?” I didn’t have a short answer.
David Ogilvy, the suave, pipe-smoking “father of advertising” once said, “A brand is the intangible sum of a product’s attributes.” It’s a good sentiment and entirely accurate but doesn’t cut the mustard. The truth is, there is both an intangible brand and a tangible brand. The intangible brand is a set of emotional attachments and expectations. The tangible brand is your name, your logo, your core messaging, and all of the physical places where those things are applied.
The first is really what I call the “Brand Promise” and you can’t put your hands around it. What is the promise you are making to customers and do you keep your promises? If you cannot easily identify your brand promise, you probably do not have a brand. The more tangible definition of brand is really brand identity; which is all of the pieces and parts that leave a mark on the minds of a customer. If you don’t have a logo or a memorable core message or brand pieces (business cards, website, signage, etc.) you probably don’t have a brand. If you take away nothing else from this week’s message, remember this: A brand promise and a brand identity go together like Love and Marriage, as the old Frank Sinatra song says, “Love and marriage, they go together like a horse and carriage, this I tell you, brother, you can’t have one without the other.”
Take a good, hard look at your company. Do your customers love you? And more importantly, are they married to your brand? If the answer to both of those questions is not an enthusiastic “YES!” then you need to do something about it.
Monday, December 2 – On A High Note
Tuesday, December 3 – Sprucing Things Up at Lucy Corr
Wednesday, December 4 – Toast to Two Years!
Thursday, December 5 – The Pinnacle of Elegance
Friday, December 6 – One College Town To Another
This morning, Kent Brockwell provided VCU Mass Comm students some pro pointers to perfect their portfolios. In return, he snatched a few business cards to keep on hand so we can get a couple of rockstar interns. Speaking of which, if you know a young person who wants a shot the best, boldest internship experience in RVA, tell them to check us out because we are not accepting internship applications for Spring and Summer 2020.
As far as me? I’m making my way downtown, walking fast, and I’m homebound, channeling my inner Vanessa Carlton — in Lynchburg to create some fun holiday social media content for the Texas Inn. Keep your eyes peeled in the coming weeks for the final cuts and festive deals. Tomorrow night my beloved VCU Rams will take on the ODU Monarchs and crush their souls at the Siegel Center. Final prediction 69-41.
A Few of Our Favorite Events
Green Top Shooting Range Grand Opening
11547 Lake Ridge Parkway | Ashland, VA
December 7, 2019 | 11 a.m.
To officially celebrate its new outpost, Green Top will be hosting a Grand Opening Celebration on Dec. 7 at Green Top Shooting Range. The event will feature free lunch from Zaxby’s from 11 a.m. – 2 p.m. and a live remote broadcast by K95’s Garret Doll. They are also waiving the initiation fee for new memberships all day — a $50 savings. This event is open to the public and all are encouraged to attend!
1 Bowman Drive | Fredericksburg, VA
February 8, 2019 | 12 – 5 p.m.
Come join us for the Virginia Craft Spirits Roadshow at A. Smith Bowman Distillery! Tickets will include all samples of artisan spirits as well as craft cocktails from numerous Virginia distilleries; while guests can mix, mingle, and engage with Virginia distillers firsthand! Purchase any bottles you enjoy to take home — they’ll even store them at their concierge station while you enjoy the event. Save money by purchasing your tickets at the advanced promo prices vs. the day of: $20 for one general admission, or $35 for two general admission tickets.
Got an upcoming event you want to share? Can we come? Send us the deets!
“A brand for a company is like a reputation for a person. You earn reputation by trying to do hard things well.”
— Jeff Bezos