Branding in the Digital World: Thinking Beyond Logos and Colour Palettes
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A presentation that I made to a wonderful crowd at the Ottawa Search & Digital Marketing Meetup on April 15, 2014. Terrific group of people to speak to.

A presentation that I made to a wonderful crowd at the Ottawa Search & Digital Marketing Meetup on April 15, 2014. Terrific group of people to speak to.

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Branding in the Digital World: Thinking Beyond Logos and Colour Palettes Presentation Transcript

  • 1. Branding in the Digital World. Stephen McGill, President & Creative Director mcgillbuckley.com | @mcgillbuckley | smcgill@mcgillbuckley.com Thinking beyond logos and colour palettes
  • 2. There is a great deal of talk about brands and branding these days. Very few people know what the hell they are talking about.
  • 3. Far too many new brands start with a name and logo. They should be starting with a strategy.
  • 4. Far too many brand re-development programs are superficial. In the end all they manage to do is put a new shine on an old turd.
  • 5. 81.2% of my presentation is about branding in general. Context is critical I think. In the spirit of full disclosure
  • 6. Perspectives on branding What a brand is not What a brand is What great brands do How to build a brand Profuse apologies Branding in the digital world My upcoming brand rant Opinions expressed here are my own
  • 7. PerspectivesOn branding
  • 8. The art of marketing is the art of brand building. If you are not a brand, you are a commodity. Then price is everything and the low- cost producer is the only winner. – Philip Kotler, Kellogg
  • 9. "Any damn fool can put on a deal, but it takes genius, faith and perseverance to create a brand.” – David Ogilvy, legendary Mad Man
  • 10. A strong brand is a business asset $54 Billion$104 Billion $47 Billion Forbes.com
  • 11. Strong brands can command a premium
  • 12. Strong brands can overcome a crisis (Perhaps not two though)
  • 13. (simply)… What a Brand is not
  • 14. A brand is not simply: A name Names don’t define people. The same holds true for brands. But a name can come to mean something.
  • 15. What do these names mean? • Nelson Mandela? • Martin Luther King? • Rob Ford? • Daniel Alfredsson?
  • 16. And these names? • Google? • WebFuel? • General Motors? • TheCodeFactory?
  • 17. A brand is not simply: A logo There are strong brands with weak logos. And there are lousy brands with award-winning logos.
  • 18. A brand is not simply: A logo Like a name, a logo must come to mean something. (PS: It is better to have a great logo)
  • 19. A brand is also not simply: a colour palette a product or service a social media profile a website an ad campaign a tagline
  • 20. A BRAND IS ALSO not simply: What you say it is
  • 21. “Brands are built on what people are saying about you, not what you are saying about yourself.” – Guy Kawasaki
  • 22. “Your brand is what people say about you when you’re not in the room.” – Jeff Bezos, Amazon.com
  • 23. So, what the heck is a brand?
  • 24. In a perhaps misguided search for meaning, I decided to search for “brand definition” on Google? No wonder so many people are confused. I found 127,000,000 results.
  • 25. Our definition of a Brand: A brand exists in the minds of its audiences. Quite simply, a brand is a collection of perceptions, feelings and experiences around a particular company, product, person, service or cause.
  • 26. Defining a brand involves: • Being clear about what it is you do • Determining how you are different • Knowing why you matter to customers • Understanding the emotional connection
  • 27. Defining a brand is: • Part art • Part science • A hair raising journey of discovery • Always more work than you think
  • 28. What Great Brands Do
  • 29. Are committed to being different. Great Brands Me too brands are brands without a future.
  • 30. “Be yourself; everyone else is already taken.” – Oscar Wilde
  • 31. Are willing to take a stand based on what they believe. Great Brands This helps build connections… and loyalty.
  • 32. "When you think of the blur of all the brands that are out there, the ones you believe in and the ones you remember, like Chanel and Armani, are the ones that stand for something. – Ralph Lauren
  • 33. Are committed to owning a distinct position in the marketplace and in the minds of consumers. Great Brands
  • 34. driving machine The Ultimate
  • 35. Great Brands are driven by a vision Great Brands
  • 36. “I want to put a ding – Steve Jobs, Apple in the universe.”
  • 37. Great Brands Understand that experience drives brand value.
  • 38. "We believed very early on that people's interaction with the Starbucks experience was going to determine the success of the brand.” — Howard Schultz, Starbucks Great Brands
  • 39. How to Build a Brand (Here’s a hint: don’t start with the logo)
  • 40. What typically gets in the way Poor support at the senior management level Superficial thinking: the logo and tagline syndrome Company realities and brand vision do not match Closed or dysfunctional culture Resistance to change Not making the hard decisions Not getting buy-in along the way An inward focused point of view Micro managing the process Not knowing your audiences Viewing branding as an expense not an investment
  • 41. Understand that branding is a business process Corporate Strategy Brand Strategy Branding Process
  • 42. Strategic branding process You must have an explicit understanding of where a company or organization is now, where it wants to go and how it plans on getting there. Be clear on the short and long-term business goals 1
  • 43. Strategic branding process It is critical to get senior people involved and onside from the very beginning. Getting their input, support and buy-in is a must on your to-do list. Understand who the key stakeholders are. 2
  • 44. Strategic branding process Invite opinions from a cross section of people from different departments. These are the people who know the customers and help deliver the brand experience. Involve a wide spectrum of stakeholders.2a
  • 45. Strategic branding process Make sure you know their wants and needs. Go beyond traditional segmenting to get inside their hearts and minds. Can your brand connect with them? Will your brand resonate with them? Understand who your audiences really are. 3
  • 46. Strategic branding process A brand vision forces you to know what you want the brand to be and do over the long-term. Make it simple enough for your customers and your people to get it, remember it and embrace it. It can often be the corporate vision – unless that was written by a committee. Develop your brand vision.4 – unless that was written by a committee.
  • 47. Strategic branding process “To make people happy.” – Walt Disney Corporation Develop your brand vision.4
  • 48. Strategic branding process Any strong brand has to have at its core a promise that lets people know what to expect from the brand. It could be results achieved, an experience or acting in a certain way. It must be relevant to your target audiences. And it must never be broken. Develop your brand promise.5
  • 49. Strategic branding process Bruyère Continuing Care is the champion of our aging population and those requiring continuing care. - a McGill Buckley client Develop your brand promise.5
  • 50. Strategic branding process Take a long hard look at where your brand “fits” from your customers or market perspective. Develop your brand positioning.6 What Is Your Brand For? Who Is Your Brand For? When Is Your Brand For? Who Are Your Competitors?
  • 51. Strategic branding process Develop your brand personality.7 If your brand was a person, what kind of person would it be? Developing a brand personality helps to create a human side to your brand and makes it easier for “people” to connect and identify. Masculine or feminine? Underdog or big dog? Casual or formal? Serious or humorous? Plays by the rules or breaks the rules? City or country? Traditional or contemporary?
  • 52. Strategic branding process Develop your brand messaging platform.8 These are the words that help people understand who you are, what you do, how you are different and why you matter. Key Messages BenefitsPositioning Stories
  • 53. Strategic branding process A thoughtful, coherent and consistent brand identity system allows a brand to a have an easily recognizable visual presence. It should be driven by all the work done to date. Develop your brand identity system.9 Logo ApplicationsName Standards
  • 54. Strategic branding process Design your ideal brand experiences.10 How will you turn your brand vision and promise into brand-building customer experiences? Think of how and where your customers come into contact with your brand?
  • 55. Strategic branding process These are delivered at your brand touch points. Design your ideal brand experiences.10 What are all your brand touch points? What can you do to leverage them? Everyone plays a role in brand experience. It should be constantly evolving. “You cannot NOT have a user experience.” – Lou Carbone
  • 56. Which brings us to Digital Branding
  • 57. Digital marketing and an increasingly digital world has not changed what a brand is. It has however radically changed how a brand is discovered, delivered, perceived and experienced.
  • 58. “With digital diversification getting bigger and with more channels appearing each quarter, brands are going to shift from "Should I be here?" to "What should I do now that I am here?" Success will be linked to how well the brand can differentiate itself and the levels of emotional engagement it can create.” – Robert Passikov, Consumer Experience Guru
  • 59. What then is Digital branding? • An environment? • A platform? • A format? • A device? (It is likely all these things with more to come) }
  • 60. • It is one of the many possible channels through which a brand can connect. • It is an increasingly important touch point for brands. • It can be a driver of customer perceptions and experiences. • More than ever digital is the first encounter with your brand. Our view on digital branding
  • 61. • Lead with business and brand strategy, leverage with technology. • Be where your audiences are. • Constantly look for insights. • Engage, experiment, evolve. • Beware of the digital disconnect. Our approach to digital branding
  • 62. • How will we meet our business and brand objectives? • How will we deliver on our brand promise? • How will we reinforce our brand positioning? • How can we deliver brand experiences? • How can we deliver our brand personality? A few digital branding questions:
  • 63. • Territorialism of different practitioners. • An overabundance of self proclaimed experts. • Too much focus on technology at the expense of strategy. • An overinflated estimate of its value (perhaps). • Too much emphasis on price as a benefit. A few digital brand concerns:
  • 64. What excites us about digital branding: • An entirely new environment for building brands. • Enhanced abilities to monitor brands. • Direct connections with brand audiences.
  • 65. What about Canadian Brands?
  • 66. Top Canadian Brands Top Brands In Canada* Top Canadian Brands* Canada’s Most Influential Brands** 1. Disney 1. Tim Hortons (10) 1. Google 2. Lego 2. Westjet (16) 2. Facebook 3. Johnson & Johnson 3. McCain Foods (18) 3. Microsoft 4. Rolex 4. Canadian Tire (28) 4. Apple 5. Nestle 5. Jean Coutu (32) 5. Visa *Source - canadianbusiness.com (scores are based on trust, admiration, respect, good feeling and overall esteem) ** Source – Iposos Reid Research
  • 67. Canadian brands we admire
  • 68. Let’s Pick A Great New Local Brand • Great positioning – DIY • Fun, friendly, quirky personality • Delivers an engaging brand experience • Great products (a matter of taste) • Understands brand touch points
  • 69. Closing thoughts.
  • 70. • Be driven by business strategy and goals. • Make sure you have an inspiring vision and a compelling promise. • Be different and be clear. • Don’t overlook the power of personality and experiences. • Get yourself a really nice logo! Want to develop your brand?
  • 71. ” When you’re going through hell, keep going." — Winston Churchill
  • 72. Thank you for your time. Any questions?