Building Brand Image: The First Step You Must Take

Posted by Chris Langathianos

Mar 14, 2017 12:45:55 PM


People often ask us, "what's the best advice you can give us when developing our brand image?”

The answer is more complex than the question, unfortunately. But the number one piece of advice I would give to small to mid-sized businesses when developing their brand image is: look at what other similar organizations are doing, and ask yourself, "what do they look like and what are they saying about themselves, and how can I do it differently?"

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Topics: Brand Strategy, Branding, Brand reputation

The Branding of Buddha — How to Protect Your Brand from the Wrong Audience

Posted by Sherri Starcher

Feb 16, 2017 2:26:33 PM

Branding_of_Buddha.jpgWhile in Thailand recently for my honeymoon, between coconut drinks and curry dishes, I couldn’t help but notice the prevalent image of the Buddha, most notably on the bodies of western tourists and on the shelves of the cheap gift shops lining the streets. Tattoos, statues, t-shirts — Buddha was everywhere! And, it’s not just for the vacationing crowd. Think about the last time you saw an ad for a yoga studio or scanned the aisles of your local health food store. Chances are the Buddha is around there somewhere, too.

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Topics: Brand Strategy, Branding, Brand reputation

14 Questions to Ask About Your Marketing Department for 2017

Posted by Matt Bowen

Dec 14, 2016 2:16:58 PM


Marketing, as a function, has evolved tremendously over the last decade.  And in very good ways.  At the core of this change is that marketing is moving from being an art to solidly a science. And most importantly, marketing continues to gain a seat at the big table in a strategic sense.This means that the stakes have never been higher for marketing departments to perform.

But, many marketing departments are still structured in a way that worked fine in 1997.  Not 2017.  There’s a head of marketing, functional product marketers, internal communications, digital specialists, market researchers, and likely inbound/campaign specialists. And of course there might be some PR people thrown into the mix.

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Topics: Brand Strategy

Brand (Strategy) Therapy

Posted by Chris Langathianos

Aug 17, 2016 10:30:00 AM


Selecting the right strategy partner is about more than big-name clients and flashy presentations.

"Out of your vulnerabilities will come your strength." - Sigmund Freud

Brand Strategy is hard. Relationships — personal and professional — are also difficult. Put the two together and you have one mother of an undertaking ahead of you. That's why hiring the right brand strategy firm is critical to your brand’s ultimate success.

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Topics: Brand Strategy

Branding technology: get out of the weeds

Posted by Matt Bowen

Jul 10, 2015 1:57:00 PM

shutterstock_57577747-2I’ve worked with a lot of technology companies over the years, and I have to say if there is one common unifying problem that persists among them it is the challenge they have with brand strategy.

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Topics: Brand Strategy, Branding

Fixing Indiana: Repairing a Brand in Crisis

Posted by Matt Bowen

Apr 3, 2015 12:13:28 PM

shutterstock_136761965It’s a rare thing when I get into politics on here; in fact it’s something I usually go out of my way to avoid. But I’m a brand strategist, and sometimes the world of brands and politics collide in a way from which I believe we can all learn.

At the heart of brand strategy is figuring out why a brand is different, what is its appeal, and what it stands for. Most people, when they think of brands, think of consumer products that they buy every week at the supermarket or restaurants they drive past as they are out and about. But we’ve become a branded world, and this extends well beyond its traditional boundaries.

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Topics: Brand Strategy, Branding

How to Really Create Brand Loyalty: Let’s Break it Down

Posted by Matt Bowen

Mar 3, 2015 12:13:00 PM

Editor's Note:  This blog was originally posted in February 2014 and has been updated.

Could there be a shinier brass ring than brand loyalty? Whether B2B or B2C, having a customer base that enthusiastically and consistently chooses your brand over other options is what separates star companies from the rest. 

Yet, when was the last time you saw “brand loyalty” on a list of corporate goals?

Increased revenues: of course
Increased profit margins: always
Increased market share: without a doubt 

Increased brand loyalty? Crickets


While most marketing folks will certainly claim brand loyalty is of utmost importance, turning that into tangible action is a different story.

Of course, some industries have long ago figured out that brand loyalty is critical. On the consumer front, loyalty cards, points, frequent flyer miles, etc., are all intended to create loyalty.

But do they?

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Topics: Tips, Brand Strategy, Branding, Marketing Execution, B2B

What every CMO (and CEO and CFO) can learn from a chocolate bar

Posted by Matt Bowen

Feb 17, 2015 4:37:00 PM

71255gHmpsL._SL1500_A while back I wrote a commentary on the book Building Brand Authenticity by Michael Beverland. In it, he explored what “authenticity” means to a brand, and if its something that can be created or, rather, something that must be earned.

Well, a confrontation is playing out in the US that has pitted two chocolate brands—US-based Hershey’s and UK’s Cadbury—in a battle that’s testing the notion of what brand authenticity is.

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Topics: Brand Strategy, Branding, Mergers and Acquisitions

Increasing Brand Value in Healthcare

Posted by David MacGregor

Jan 8, 2015 2:56:09 PM

increasing-brand-valueYour company’s staff, property and buildings—those are your most valuable assets. Right?


Although that’s what many healthcare executives answer when asked the question, the correct response is (or should be) your “brand.” Valuing your employees is hugely important, and your physical property certainly has worth and value. But with US Healthcare spending approaching $3 trillion, increasing the value of your brand to truly differentiate your organization from the others competing for their share of that spending is imperative.

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Topics: Brand Strategy, Healthcare

Hey ISIS, Here’s Your New Brand Name

Posted by Matt Bowen

Oct 3, 2014 12:50:00 PM

_77270828_i30Among the many things that ISIS has shown the world is the power of branding.

We first wrote about this months ago, but as ISIS has grown and become more sophisticated in its communication tactics, its “brand strategy” has played out exactly as the “state” would like it to.

Thankfully, world leaders have started to recognize that by calling these barbarians the “Islamic State,” we are only giving them creditability and gravitas in the same way that a brand does. We’ve essentially legitimatized this horrific organization and in the process slandered the Islamic faith.

It’s time to unbrand.

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Topics: Brand Strategy