Testing Your Brand Before it Tests You

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When I began my career in 1982 at the Wholesale Credit department at Exxon Company, USA in Houston, TX it was before the time of catchy cultures and clever mission statements written by twenty something literary geniuses sucking on Blow Pops. Our brand tagline was simply “commitment to excellence” and it was carried through the ranks like a battered banner in the Revolutionary War – headlining annual meetings and italicized on every report in the bottom left hand corner, a symbol of strength and integrity. Unfortunately, we really didn’t comprehend what it meant, other than we were to do “good work”. Thanks to market research, that has changed for most companies through brand awareness and perception initiatives.

Brand Taglines clarify who you are and what you do – while Brand Essence sums up how your brand connects emotionally with your customers. Taglines allow you to stand out for one good, specific reason, far apart from commoditized competitors. On the consumer end, this rings true with low-involvement purchases: You’re at the store and remember you need trash bags. You also remember being on your hands and knees cleaning up coffee grounds after one ripped. You saw a commercial for more durable bags, but can’t remember the name. While you’re scanning your options, it hits you — “Don’t get mad — get Glad.” Voila, the commoditized selection gets personal.

Referring to a product’s name in the tagline can be a sound move if it’s done properly. It should directly tie a benefit to a product name in a memorable way (“Every kiss begins with Kay”). It should not merely say the name to take up space, as in Exxon’s old slogan, “We’re Exxon.” The only way that tagline could be worse for Exxon is if they mentioned the Exxon Valdez.

ENTER BRAND RESEARCH! Developing a brand is more than just deciding on a name, slogan or picking some colors. It is the summation of all you do and how you wish to be perceived. It’s derived from all your touch points with your customers and prospects. Developing a brand requires having a plan that consistently communicates what your company is and does, along with your distinct image, attributes and personality.

Getting to your brand identity is a collaborative process which begins with MARKET RESEARCH.

  • Start by listening to your employees, customers and competitors and begin assessing your premise and the desired conclusion of the branding process.
  • Investigate your current brand and the assets and image it brings to your organization. Learn from your INTERNAL team and your EXTERNAL clients (and competition) the perceptions (brand image) that your brand has in the marketplace, the position it has established and the promises it has made, kept and broken.
  • Evaluate the desired conclusion and ask yourself about your strategic goals and what value the new brand should bring to reach those goals.

 Tastes So Good, Cats Ask for it By Name

"Tastes so good cats ask for it by name"

“Tastes so good cats ask for it by name”

Meow meow meow meow … who remembers the catchy tune to which cats meowed in commercials for Meow Mix? Meow Mix released a simple but telling tagline, “Tastes So Good, Cats Ask For It By Name.” It plays off the fact that every time a cat meows, he/she is actually asking for Meow Mix! The tagline was clever and successfully planted Meow Mix as a standout brand in a cluttered market.

At FieldGoals.US, we conduct proprietary research, custom designed for YOUR BUSINESS based on hours of time spent with YOUR TEAM finding out what makes YOUR BRAND and YOUR CONSUMER tick. Call us. Become enlightened!

January 8th 2015 |

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