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A Thought on 'Brand Consistency'
November 17, 2004

I am fascinated with the concept of 'branding', whether it pertains to a product, service, company or individual (think of how celebrities brand themselves- and I don't mean tattoos). As such, my library has a shelf dedicated to favorite 'branding' books.

The 22 Immutable Laws of Branding by branding virtuosos Al and Laura Ries states: "Successful branding programs are based on the concept of singularity. The objective is to create in the mind of the prospect the perception that there is no other product on the market quite like your product."

Consistency is vital to dynamic branding. "A brand is not built overnight. Success is measured in decades, not years. The most frequently violated law (of branding) is the law of consistency. Markets change, but brands shouldn't, ever."

Changing your brand can be painful, if not destructive. "Volvo has been selling safety for thirty- five years." Ries states, then the marketing team gets bored with the same old brand and decide it is time for a change. "So, Volvo launched a line of sports cars and even a convertible. What will a ragtop do for the Volvo brand? Nothing-except dilute its safety message." What are Volvo evangelists to think? Is Volvo selling out to trends?

"Brands are personality statements, badges. Your choice of badge is often determined by the statement you want to make to friends, neighbors, coworkers or relatives. Sometimes it is determined by the statement you want to make to yourself such as 'I drive a BMW.'"

I see this so often in my work. A client places a single ad in one source and gets no results, so they decide to alter the message or medium. It takes time to define and test what your brand is. What/who are you selling? What do you want others to know about you or your services? What visions do you want your prospect to see when they hear your name?

When I was new in sales, I selected a single segment as my focus market. I worked hard-contacting them each month for ten months, with no results. I was determined that my tenth contact would be my last. Apparently I had misjudged this market area.

Then, the first client came in stating that if I was that tenacious, he knew that I was the type of individual he wanted to deal with (part of my brand). For the ensuing ten years I literally owned that segment of the market. No one could compete. It was all due to being consistent in brand message and approach in the early days, and then not altering it when it worked.

"A brand cannot get into the mind unless it stands for something. But once a brand occupies a position in the mind, it's there for the long term."

This week, think of what you (your product, service, company or you as an individual) stand for. What is your brand? Be specific. Generalities confuse prospects. Make it easy for prospects to know who you are, what you stand for, why they should associate with you and how to find you.

Enjoy your discoveries and have a superb week!


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Permission is granted to either reproduce copy or distribute "A Thought for the Week of November 17, 2004" so long as this copyright notice and full information about contacting the author is attached. The author is Ann Golden Eglé, Golden Visions Success Coaching, LLC, 541-385-8887, 1972 NE 3rd St, PMB # 307 Bend, Oregon 97701, www.GVSUCCESS.com

Ann Golden Eglé, CPCC,PCC
Golden Visions Success Coaching, LLC

phone: 1.800.821.0234
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