Thursday, January 8th, 2015

Three Dirty Words We Most Detest: Brand, Branding And Marketing

Moving Beyond These Stereotyped Words Is Key To Indelible Products

We are in what many label the marketing business.

WHISPER is a company, more often labeled an agency, due to the profession in which we apply our expertise. 

Instead, rather than marketing or branding, our agency is in the asset creation business - assets offering ease of communication - focused on establising relationships with people to grow the reputation equity of products and enterprises. 

And we say this.


The reason is the three words we loathe the most: brand, branding and marketing.

Oh sure, we use these words often in this site. Just take a look. We do so pragmatically, as brand, branding and marketing are words of value for the search engine optimization of our site. 

But the reality remains, we hate the words.

Ask 10 people to define what brand is, and you receive 10 different answers.

Astonishingly, this is also true if you ask any 10 people who say they are in the brand consulting business. You receive 10 different answers. [Try this yourself.]  

Beyond the lack of common understanding in the use of brand, branding and marketing, there is a far more important reason we despise each of these words, a reason also articulated by former Apple VP of Worldwide Marketing Communication Allison Johnson:

People associate the words brand and branding and marketing with television advertising and logos and commercials and artificial things - thinking it's about having to sell their product to other people - when most important is the relationship people can have with your product. 

Rather than the artificial, communicate what is most profound to people: relationship.

If not working to communicate meaning that people cannot find elsewhere, if not educating people about what makes the experience with your product so profoundly great, if not helping people get the most out of this experience, if not translating the role your product can have in people's lives, you are engaged in selling.

As Steve Cranford of WHISPER shares often:

When selling you are chasing audiences, rather than attracting them.

Which means you are self-imposing the equivilent of a tax upon your product and your organization, as chasing people is far more expensive than attracting them.

Watch above as Allison Johnson offers further insights, as reported in MacRumors.

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