I saw a blog post recently called “Why Branding is a Luxury for Small Businesses”. I was intrigued. So I clicked on the link and proceeded to read it. I read it twice because I thought surely I had skipped something. It seems I didn’t. As you read through the comments, you’ll agree the post sparked a hearty debate.
I agree with the author’s steps to take before you begin this so-called “branding effort”, but I don’t agree that branding is only for major companies.
A brand is a promise of an experience time and time again. That is something my dry cleaner does every time I drop off my clothes. It’s something my dentist does when I go in for my cleanings. It’s something the manicurist does.
No fancy logos. No fancy sponsorships.
But even major corporations do this in spite of their fancy logos, sponsorships and brand marketing agencies.
Coca-Cola does not fulfill its brand promise when it sponsors the Olympics. Coca-Cola fulfills its promise when you peel back that pull tab on an ice-cold can and take that first refreshing sip. Ahh…anyone remember “The Pause that Refreshes”? That was one of those moments when the things below the iceberg meet the things above the iceberg.
One of my biggest roles as a brand marketer is not logo developer, but rather one of educator. I come across folks on a daily basis that mistake a new logo, new graphics or new slogan as “the new branding”. Then, comes the gentle discussion of how the brand promise has not changed. The brand is still the same (or growing) even though the color of the ads may have changed. Good days are when I leave someone with something to think about. Great days are those when the light bulb goes off. In many ways, that may be the pause that refreshes me.
For those of you new to the brand iceberg model, here are some starters. We have taken the iceberg concept and evolved it to reflect some of our casino’s uniqueness. If you’ve done the same, I’d love to see it!