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Your Brand Is Like A Marriage

Bad MarriageAs a very astute business consultant I know points out – every business has a brand. Every business is perceived by those who are in a relationship with it in some way – customers, suppliers, employees, etc. And people who perceive a business hold opinions about it even if those opinions are never articulated. Remember now: people act on their opinions. They will buy from Company A or from Company B based on how they feel about those two businesses. So when the leaders of businesses ignore or neglect their brands, they are really ignoring the relationship they share with their markets. Emphasis on the word “share”. They are taking their customers or clients for granted, or worse. What happens in other relationships, like marriages, where one party takes the other for granted? The relationship becomes sad and troubled or even dissolves.

For a marriage to be successful, one has to put some work into it. One has to show a little effort – sometimes, a lot of effort. A brand can be thought of as the committed relationship between a business and its market. A brand strategy is the effort the business puts into that relationship. It’s the plan it has to make its partner in the relationship happy. The best result is when a business’s market falls madly in love with the way some people “love” Apple or Fender or Porsche. Those businesses really know how to make a marriage – sorry – a brand successful.

Here are some valuable insights to guarantee successful brands (and marriages).

  Get honestly and truly knocked out. You have to really fall for your market and everything about it. Your business should want to spend eternity with it.

•  Be your sincere and authentic self. Don’t pose or exaggerate. You want your market to love you for who you really are. Sure, you want it to know you’re going places. But you want your market to feel like it’s a journey you’ll take together.

•  Don’t be like the other guys. Let your market see what’s different in you even if it makes you feel vulnerable. The market will see that you’re special and, perhaps, best suited to fulfill it’s needs.


•  Be informed. You have to know your market inside and out. You should know its every concern, its every fault and its every fear. You can’t be a true partner until you know all the secrets. Do your research. Listen with empathy and affection.

Is your market madly in love with your business?
Ask Boardwalk for a winning brand strategy.

•  Get engaged. Promise your undying devotion to your market. Communicate and be sure to listen well. Make sure your whole market hears your messaging, not just your immediate clients. Do occasional, little extra things to surprise and please your market.

•  Be there. Work hard. Do your job. Keep your promises. Be willing to change and adapt. Put your market’s needs first. Care about your market’s interests. Solve your market’s problems, reliably, consistently – time after time.

•  Make it official. Put a ring on it. Sign the contract. Say “I do.” in front of the whole business community. Formalize your brand strategy.

•  Have a date night. Review your brand strategy from time to time. Talk about it and keep it fresh. Are you growing apart from your market? Fix that!

•  Renew your vows. After about 15-20 years, do another formal brand exploration and recommit to a refreshed brand strategy.

Again, like any relationship, the relationship you have with your market – your brand – deserves some effort on your part. Shouldn’t you have a brand strategy to nurture the most valuable business asset you own?

Best Branding Reads – Week of April 29, 2019

Diversity Is Imperative For Brand Leadership
This seems more and more obvious all the time. But it’s nice to see it spelled out.

D-to-C Branding and the New Soul of Branding
Author questions if older, “legacy” brands will be able to transition to a new reality. Good question.

Sainsbury’s rebranded by Greenpeace following plastic packaging complaints
Wow. Matching up to your market’s values is so important now, you risk guerrilla action against you if you ignore it.

Applying The Five Forces Model To Brand Strategy
Five things to consider when working with any brand.

MLB Updates Their Famous Batter Logo, Colours And More
New colors? Fine. But he still has no chance of hitting that ball. (Starting swing way too late.}

New Logo and Identity for The Lester Prize
The icon and wordmark are both good – the “adjustable” icon is fantastic – but they don’t go together.

Why Leading Branding Firms Are Now Leading Conversations
Conversation leadership replacing thought leadership? Interesting.

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Best Branding Reads
Week of July 6, 2020

Values, Brand, and Culture — Your Strongest Competitive Advantage
An interesting take on building brands and shaping cultures.

Why Old Has The Advantage Over New
In many ways, we might all really want to go back to the old normal, not the new.

The Critical Link Between Marketing And Finance
Turns out both disciplines are about the same thing.

Employer Branding in the Face of a Crisis
Some really great examples of best and worst practices.

New Logo and Identity for Waze
A good redesign to integrate brand experience across social media platforms.

New Logo and Identity for Iceland National Football Team
Really, really love this logo … and the meaning behind it. Applications are all terrific too.

Images that Move — Using Video to Communicate Brand Story
Some good how-to pointers in this story.