How is your branding? Do you have a branding strategy in place? Who is in charge of your branding, or have you passed it to the marketing department to deal with?
Marty Neumeier is in a league of his own when it comes to branding. With over 24 million views on his slide deck about branding, he is an authority on the subject.
Marty is an author and a brand consultant in the area of brand design and innovation. He’s written quite a few books on branding, and in addition to his work at Liquid Agency where he does CEO branding, he also has a company called Level C, which trains people up, around the world through five levels of brand strategy.
In this podcast, Marty talks about what is brand, the history of marketing, what it might mean for a CEO of a business thinking about their brand and how branding isn’t marketing. How branding overlaps with customer experience, and what some stepping stones might be to create a customer tribe. As well as how to get your customers to feel something about your business, and how to use your brand to shorten your sales cycle in order to sell more things at a higher profit.
“Branding is about getting more people to buy more stuff for more years at a higher price. The secret to profitability. It’s a long term investment in your company… If you want your company to last, you need customer loyalty. And the really good thing about branding is that brands last longer than customers.”
On today’s podcast:
- Why people get brand and branding so wrong
- How small businesses can think about branding
- B2C branding and B2B branding
- Why branding is customer experience
- The importance of naming and logos
- From customer experience to customer identity
Rethink Your Branding with Marty Neumeier
What does your branding strategy look like? Are you the Steve Jobs of your company? Do you deal with your company’s branding or have you passed it over to marketing in order to focus on the business side of things?
According to Marty Neumeier, branding is where most business leaders fall down. They think of branding in old terms, not in current or future terms. They see branding as a marketing product with trademarks, logos and the like. But that, says Marty, is a very primitive view of branding. Yes identification is a part of branding, but it’s not all it is.
“A brand is really something that exists in customers’ minds. It’s a customer’s perception, or a gut feeling is probably more accurate, a gut feeling of a product, service or company.”
How to create a brand
If you want to know what work you need to be doing on your branding, you need to get inside the minds of your customers, you build your brand from the inside of someone’s head.
You don’t leave it to an advertising agency or a design firm or the marketing department to figure it out. Branding doesn’t exist there.
“It’s the duty of the company to figure out how to encourage people to think about the company or the brand in ways that benefit everybody. Obviously the company, but also customers and society, if you want your brand to last a long time.”
Branding is about getting people to buy more
“It’s more based in the emotions of customers than in their heads. And of course, everyone thinks they make their purchasing decisions and their alliances with various products in a logical way, you know, like a practical, rational way. But that’s not how humans actually behave. We do a lot through intuition and catching signals about things.”
And that’s the secret to profitability – to understand that spending money and making purchasing decisions isn’t logical. But that’s the only way a company can last – if they can get more people to buy more stuff, for more years, at a higher price.
If a company can garner customer loyalty, they’ll be in it for the long haul.
“And the really good thing about branding is that brands last longer than customers. So since a brand is a sort of shared belief about a company, those beliefs just go on and on.”
How small businesses can do branding
But what can you do if you’re a small business or a start up? Marty says, you have to think about your tribe first. Customers are the ones who run companies, without their support you go nowhere.
You can’t force your products onto people any more through TV advertising, today, you need help from your customers if you hope to succeed. And you need to get them on board from the beginning.
- Find a group of customers whose lives you can enhance with your product in some small way.
- Build the product with them in mind.
- Test it with them, make a few people really happy.
- Find the people that are the most vocal about your product and work with them.
- Build it up from there.
- Multiply and conquer
“Find a few people who are fans of your product, and they’ll tell other people and through social media, it grows out like that. And you have to listen to them all the time. So that’s how you do it.”
And make sure you have a good point of difference. You can’t just do what everyone else is doing.
“Following the leader will never make you a leader. When you’re a startup it’s really important to know how you’re different. I mean, the smaller the company, the more specialised you have to be. You want to find something that you do that nobody else does in the minds of your customers and make that really beautiful and attractive. And then build it out from there.”