Chris Baggott has a new post up today about branding as a way of opening the door for the real work: direct marketing and sales. This isn't anything new, but Chris puts it in a way that should make sense for a lot of people who are tired of hearing the hype and no longer value the contribution of branding—you know who you are.
The nut concepts: "Branding helps get you to that first permission." And: “It’s not about awareness, it’s about consideration!”
Of course, Chris (and the CMOs he quotes) are really refering to brand image. That's what most people mean when they talk about branding. The brand image reflected in advertising and PR that creates a positive association with a product or company. It's the initial contact that introduces the consumer to the brand.
But the reality is that a brand is much more than a visual look or personality created in a "brand" advertisement. As I've noted below, and others, (like John Moore at Brand Autopsy on the demise of Song) have also written recently, brand building is business building. Nothing less.
Song got great press. Song had a killer logo and look. Song was a promising idea. Song may have earned the consumer's initial consideration, but when consumers learned the business was just Delta in a pretty uniform, they lost it. Same high costs. Same reservations center. Same FF miles that are impossible to redeem. No wonder the Song brand never really took off (sorry, bad pun).
Great brands start as great businesses. It almost never happens the other way around.
Hat tip: Brian at Late Thoughts via email.
Update: I've corrected a dumb mistake and John Moore's name is no longer mispelled. My apologies, John. Let's hope it doesn't happen again.