Ben McConnell, co-author of Creating Customer Evangelists, has a great interview with David Vinjamuri at the Church of the Customer blog. Vinjamuri is the author of a new book, Accidental Branding. It's worth reading.
I've written many times about what branding is and I think Vinjamuri gets it. It's not necessarily about budgets, campaigns, or advertising. At its core, branding is building a successful business. And maybe a little bit of luck.
The premise of Vinjamuri's book (I haven't read it yet) is that motivated entrepreneurs can build great brands without any branding know-how. They find a problem, then solve it. They create a new experience/product/service and choreograph the interaction with their customers. They ask questions like how would I want to feel when I enter my store? What would I want the employees to say to me? How should I feel when I use the product? They micromanage the experience to create memorable customer interactions. Which, of course, is the nuts and bolts of branding.
Favorite quote from the interview:
"What lesson would you engrave in stone for entrepreneurs?
Learn how to tell your story really well. I call it ‘building a myth’ because like a myth the story has to be easy to remember and share, dramatic, and it has to have a lesson contained within it. That shareable founding story is what consumers use to convert people to your brand."
I'll be adding this book to my nightstand soon. In the meantime, here are a few related links: