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Monday, June 8, 2009

Jonathan Salem Baskin's 10 Ideas To Refocus Branding

Brands and Packaging originally uploaded by missmac.
Jonathan Salem Baskin, author of Branding Only Works on Cattle: The New Way to Get Known (and drive your competitors crazy), recently shared his branding wisdom [or heresy!] on MarketingProfs in an online seminar titled What Matters Now in Branding: Ten Ideas to Get Refocused.

The traditional notions of mass market branding - based on mass channels of distribution, communication and consumption - are no longer relevant to today's consumers.

Rather, branding today is about reality, context and community. Why? Because consumers can see through hype. And, if they can't, they aren't willing to automatically trust traditional branded messages.

Realize that consumers now access information differently. They do so on their terms, at their convenience and no longer how, when, why and where traditional marketing determined.

Ironically, Baskin reminds us that consumers today more closely resemble those of the pre-mid 20th century [i.e., before mass branding strategies took over], with the same needs for information, certainty, reliability, authority and sustainability.

In other words, the days of Mad Men and Madison Avenue represented an anomaly rather than a norm.

And the tools of social media take us back to how business used to be done, based on relationships and exchange of information and conversation.

Or, in Baskin's words, new technologies allow us to behave in a more natural way with conversation, agreement, belief, loyalty, referrals and community. Which means that brand is about behavior and generating action, and - as marketers - our role becomes about making the brand relevant to behavior.

Hence, his 10 rules or ideas to refocus branding:

1. Tell the truth.
2. Be explicit.
3. Translate secret codes.
4. Kill your mascot.
5. Integrate your branding over time.
6. You need to build real communities.
7. Everything is a service.
8. Choices need to happen in reality.
9. Lower expectations.
10 Seize the day and take action - only if you have the new definition of branding in mind.

"Doing is the new thinking," he says.

Makes sense to me.

If you can't experience the recording of the seminar, then definitely download a copy of Jonathan Salem Baskin's ChangeThis Manifesto titled "10 Rules for Branding in a Post-Branded World." Or, spend time on the Dim Bulb, his blog.

And, then, think about how to refocus your brand so it is more relevant and meaningful to your customers. What kind of action does it generate?

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