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The entire process of answering this question, is what I call “branding inside out.” How many of you can declare that you know yourself perfectly well? How many of you can map out your own DNA? In the ancient Chinese book, “The Art of War”, Sunzi said: “Know yourself and know your enemy, and you will never be defeated.” In digital marketing, BRAND-marketing, to be more precise, I’d say this: Know thyself, and know inside out who your brand serves, you will be successful and fulfilled.
My definition for “brand” and “branding”, is analogized to the creation of a vibrant, living and breathing human being: It first starts with the DNA blueprint: a business’ core values, mission, vision, goals, unique value proposition, brand stories. Second, we create the “flesh and bone”, – brand messaging content. Third, the “facial features” such as the tagline, logo, font, size, color. Now you have a body, but without a breath of life. Forth: What breath life into a masterfully honed branding content, is a branding video, powerfully and artistically produced, based on the brand-messaging content. Fifth: “Clothing” this living and breathing brand with a matching website, to “house” the “jewel” – both the brand-messages and the branding video, with newly created tagline and logo.
What do we do with this vibrant, breathing, beautifully dressed living brand? Feed it, regularly, with brand-promotional blogs, or better (but more expensively,) vlogs (video blogs.) If a regular blog is like water, a brand-promotional blog is milk with cream on top, that distinguishes a brand over and above average blogs that merely make one same as all his/her peers, with the same key-words, similar concepts, ideas, and info.
Once a brand is created or refreshed, it is the legacy that lasts beyond its owner’s exit. It is a company’s culture, since brand value unifies rank and file of an entire organization, with an inspiring purpose larger than any single individual’s, including the brand owner’s. Imagine NASA’s mission to send a man to the Moon and fly him back, – is it an individual’s vision? Yes and no: when a janitor working at NASA was asked about what he was doing for a living, he proudly answered: “I sent a man to the Moon.” Brand value is a criterion for hiring people not just based on skills, but on the basis of sharing the same values and beliefs a brand stands by. Brand value is a metric for evaluating employees and management’s performance. It inspires. It unifies. It lasts.
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