The Affordable Brand

A Bridge From Companies to Customers

I’m often surprised to observe that the only brands making headlines are the result of either significant investment, or significant error. Must the stakes be so high on branding as to limit the attempt to organizations with deep pockets?

Absolutely not. In fact, I’d go so far as to stress that it’s best NOT to wait until the organization feels pressure to build one. A brand is an asset – one each organization should claim before hanging the first shingle. When it comes to brands, ‘tis better to plan than to react. And like many plans, a brand plan is about stating objectives, goals, strategies, measures and tactics – then deciding how to effectively stay on track.

One common expectation is that every brand has a logo. While logos are superstars in the branding world, the real secret is not in the logo itself, but the set of expectations around how a business with that logo behaves. As an asset, a brand is similar to other assets. It should be evaluated for its contribution to the business, its ability to create commercial, cultural and social value to separate one brand from a competing other.

To be clear, the brand shouldn’t be built in a vacuum, independent of an organization’s intentions or a market’s desires. Good brands are a bridge between two lands, an inorganic point of alignment for very real, very human companies and their customers. But a brand doesn’t have to equal Brooklyn Bridge or Golden Gate-sized endeavors. I found a charming, useful bridge for $35 at Lowe’s.


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