01 May 2006


In Experiential Marketing, Bernd H Schmitt suggests "Brand = Reputation (in the marketplace) + Promise (to the marketplace) + Experience (of customers)."

Guy Smith sees brand simply as the sum of all touchpoints. He defines touchpoint as every place a customer can interact with the company, and that touchpoint affects how the company is perceived. Please refer to http://www.marketingprofs.com/4/smith1.asp for the full article.

What is brand?

There are many books about brand, such as The Brand Gap and Differentiate or Die. Those books try to redefine brand, either because they feel the simple definition of brand is too simple, or because they attempt to differentiate from the rest.

Brand is a feeling that people have towards the brand owner. Brand does not only apply on enterprise, but also on individual. Everyone has his or her own brand.

When I was a management trainee of John Swire & Sons from 1995 to 1999, I was seen as being flippant. This impression was formed only after I had joined the company for 3 months, and this impression had lasted forever. When I rejoined Swire Coca Cola Hong Kong as a sales manager in 2003, I was regarded as bad-tempered because of my lack of patience with people. Although I worked with only 3 managers in the department, my name was heard by almost all middle managers (about 80) in the whole company with more or less the brand perception because of my brand.

Branding is about
- Belief
- Relevancy
- Attitude
- Name
- Deliverable

For name, please visit http://www.namedevelopment.com/blog/archives/brand_naming/ and http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_company_name_etymologies to see how important a name is to the brand.

Giordano started "Giordano means service" campaign in 1989, and proclaimed "We allow unlimited try-ons, we exchange with no questions asked, and we serve with a smile." Was that differentation?

Differentiation has no value if the brand does not deliver what the customers want. In fact, differentiation sooner or later will become standardization unless the concept is patented. Otherwise, it will be copied. Branding based on differentiation is no longer a competitive edge.

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