Brand Awareness

What is a Brand?

by Victor Lund on November 22, 2017

Brand

A brand is the difference between a pair of running shoes and a pair of Nikes. A brand is what people feel about you your product, the service you provide, or your organization. It’s part rational but mostly emotional. People will forgive a strong brand if it makes a mistake. likewise people won’t forgive a weak brand if it makes a mistake, remember Gateway computers? We thought so. WAV Group is not a branding agency – we leave that to leading firms like 1000 Watt. But WAV Group starts every project with an understanding of your brand. Marilyn Wilson, former Exec. Vice President of Marketing at Fisher Price managed the Fisher Price brand for nearly a decade. Fisher Price is one of the most valued and iconic international brands in the world. She did not build or create the Fisher Price brand, but every product they delivered (hundreds every year) had to deliver the brand promise, and everything WAV Group does for a client – strategic planning, communications, recruiting, and vendor selection – starts with brand. So what is the secret of a strong brand? The answer is surprisingly simple, focus. I’ll say it again, focus. Great brands stand for something, not a lot of things. One thing. For decades, Swedish car maker Volvo defined their brand with a single word, safety. Well, it seems to work for them. Sometimes you have to think beyond the category to know what your brand stands for. Harley Davidson makes motorcycles, want to guess what they stand for? Freedom.  Not a more powerful engine and not a more reliable bike or a smoother ride. Freedom. Brands are experienced. Take Starbucks. They differentiate themselves in many ways and offer a consistent brand experience in every Starbucks you visit. They even have their own language. Starbucks has created a unique community of coffee lovers that speak Starbucks-ease, and are true brand ambassadors – it’s customers. It doesn’t get any better than that. Starbucks has realized they aren’t in the business of serving coffee. They are in the business of serving people. What is a brand worth? So can you put a monetary value on a brand. The people at Interbrand research do that. Think about the fine folks at Coca-Cola. Guess what their brand is worth? According to Interbrand, about 61% of the value of the Coca-Cola corporation is brand. That is a lot of […]

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It’s the Biggest Marketing and PR Mistake

by Kevin Hawkins on September 18, 2017

Targeting Consistency

Stay on message. Those three little words sound so simple. But it amazes me how difficult it seems for companies – and their messengers – to do this. It should be the core of their marketing and PR compass. Consistency and repetition: That’s what every well-crafted marketing and PR program adheres to over the long haul. Unfortunately, most companies forget these crucial tenets and they stray. Or worse, they veer so far from their original course, they completely undermine what they have already have accomplished. Building brand awareness takes time, often a very long time. Building brand loyalty (a.k.a. understanding and being able to explain your brand to others), takes a lot longer. To accomplish either requires – you guessed it – consistency and repetition in your communication. You have to stay on message. You must repeat, I say repeat, and repeat it again, and again and again. Yes, everyone at your company, especially you, if you are running the company, will grow tired of your messaging. And if you are like most folks, you will grow tired of it literally years before it has even come close to needed to be changed and refreshed. Yes, there are exceptions, but these two ideas — consistency and repetition — are pretty much an iron clad, time-tested (oh, say since the invention of Marketing and PR) fundamental truth. Set in stone. Make that steel. The Challenge in Real Estate I get that it isn’t easy to implement a marketing and PR program in an industry that requires independent contractors to play a key role in the public execution of your communications. I feel for real estate brokerages, in particular, and their unique challenges when it comes to the communications equivalent of herding cats. Independent people like to do things independently: like creating their own unique communications. Their own logos, their own flyers and brochures, even upon occasion (Egads!), their own new releases. I’ve seen and read many of them, mostly in horror, because the vast majority of them are awful. And I don’t fault the creators for the creative: they are not trained marketing and PR professionals. They didn’t spend a couple of decades or more perfecting this stuff, much less going to grad school for a degree in this area. Yes, there are exceptions and on occasion, exceptional work. But even then, those independently produced pieces often stray from the corporate […]

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