Notes from The Brand Gap: Revised Edition
by Marty Neumeier
Vicious Circle vs Virtuous Circle
The Vicious Circle of Research & Development
- R&D Investment
- Initial Marketing Success
- Competitive Pressure
This continues until you are forced out of the market.
The Virtuous Circle
- Cultivation (Mandate to question all assumptions)
Leapfrog the status quo & begin the cycle again
A brand is NOT a logo.
A brand is NOT a corporate identity system.
It's a person's GUT feeling about a product, service or company.
- A brand is a person's gut feeling about a product, service, or company. It is not what you say it is. It is what THEY say it is.
- Process of good strategy with good creativity.
- Foundation of the brand is trust.
- Value of your brand grows in direct proportion to how quickly & easily customers can say yes to your offering.
- Make sure your symbols are compelling.
- Stronger the brand, the greater the profit margin.
- A charismatic brand (product/service/company for which people believe there is no substitute).
- 3 questions:
- Who are you?
- What do you do?
- Why does it matter?
- why does your product matter?
- Moved from - What it is? / What it does? to "How you'll feel/who you are".
From features|benefits|price -> experiences|personal identity
- Brand names are tribal gods
- Can't be #1 or #2 -> refine your space
- Specialist beat generalist: Survival of the fittest
- How a brand should fit its space is determined by the brand community
"It takes a village to build a brand."
- More collaborative = more specialized
- 3 basic models
- one-stop shop
- the brand agency
- the integrated marketing team
- Speak in prototypes
- cut through marketing red tape
- leads to gut feeling talk and gut feelings
- Design NOT strategy that ignites passion in people
- Radical innovation can render competition obsolete
- When everyone zigs, zag
- How to know an idea is innovative?
It scares the hell out of you.
- Expect innovation from people outside the company (or who THINK outside).
- make sure the name of your brand is distinctive, brief, appropriate, easy to spell, easy to pronounce, likable, extendible, and protectable
- Logos are dead -- Long live Icons & Avatars
- Packaging is the last and best chance to influence a prospect this side of the counter
- make sure to adhere to "natural reading sequence"
- avoid 3 common barriers (web) innovation
- Not INNOVATIVE, it's NOT MAGIC
- communication needs to be a dialog
- feedback (audience research) can inspire, validate innovation
- research - GOOD - can get a brand out of reverse
- focus groups use to FOCUS research, not BE the research
- use qualitative research for epiphanies that lead to breakthroughs
- measure company's brand expression for ...
- extendibility, and
- Alignment, not consistency, is the basis of a living brand.
- Living - the brand is a never-ending play, and EVERY person in the company is an actor
- Run all decision through - "Will it help or hurt the brand?" Brand-o-meter
- The more important a brand the more vulnerable it is (to failed launches, drop in quality, or whiff of scandal).
- More collaborative a brand, the more centralized its management needs to be.
- In the future we will see strong CBOs (Chief Brand Officers) needed
- Branding is a process. It can be studied, analyzed, learned, thaught, replicated and managed.
- Each lap of the branding circle takes the brand further from commoditization and closer to a sustainable competitive advantage.
(download the PDF presentation of ideas in The Brand Gap)