Branding is everything for your company; it is your logo, your style, your personality, your message. Your brand is what your company stands for; it sets the tone for everything you do in product and marketing. Branding is the way you distinguish yourselves from competitors. For these reasons and more, it is endlessly momentous to put forth significant effort in building a cohesive, consistent, and resonant brand. Easier said than done, but we’re here to help.
On November 11th, Fanatics Media CEO Mark Fidelman convened via Blab with branding experts David Brier and Grant Cardone to pick their brains for Tips on How to Build a Killer Brand. Check out the replay in its entirety here:
David Brier is an award-winning brand identity expert, speaker, author, and Fast Company blogger. His company DBD International assists companies in developing meaningful branding and design elements. With features in INC. magazine, Adweek, and The New York Times, David is an internationally respected branding wizard.
Grant Cardone is the owner and operator of 4 different companies with a combined revenue of $100,000,000. The sales coach, international speaker, and New York Times best-selling author is a bona fide branding guru and assists companies of all sizes to grow sales.
Take a look at the branding wisdom these 3 dropped in the most recent Blab exchange.
Question 1: Is Branding Just Bullshit or Are There Some Real Benefits?
David’s take: “There are definitely bullshitters who call what they do branding, but branding itself is not bullshit”. He then went on to discuss how a video he made, “What is branding?” simplified an enormous amount of information into 2 minutes and has gained more than 250,000 views. He reflected that the core of the message was that branding is “the art of differentiation”. He discussed that when companies are coming into being that the first barrier is always discerning how this company is different from all competitors. He summed this up by stating, “Differentiation is the tool that we use when we are successfully branding to actually overcome those hurdles.”
Grant agreed. “Sure it’s just bullshit, everything’s bullshit.” He said this to make the point that if something is not going well for people or they are not good at it, they tend to label it as nonsense and worthless. Grant followed this up by stating, “Everything is bullshit if you don’t make it work,” and that companies must get things straight and “brand before you advertise.”
Mark took the topic deeper by asking if branding is simply a logo or color scheme.
David remarked that the logo is only a single piece to the puzzle, and that it’s the language used to convey a story, the personality, the imagery, the design, and of course the all-important differentiating factor.
Question 2: “How should companies begin to build that powerful brand?”
David shared that any time he is beginning a project with a new client he asks, “Tell me why I as a consumer should give a shit about your product. Tell me why I should care.” All too often his clients will give generic answers stating that they care about the consumer and their product is superior. David points out to these folks that this is the exact same answer the competition would give, which ultimately leads them the figure out the proper answer or conclude that they don’t have any idea. This is where starting point is for David and his clients.
Grant kept things simple and stated that it requires unwavering persistence, consistency, and tons of work.
Mark added another layer to this question by asking how to differentiate oneself in terms of branding.
David explained that you must first intimately understand who the audience is.
Then Grant chimed in that when he began his business, nobody knew him or his idea and that, “The only way I could differentiate myself from other similar ideas that were different, was to be everywhere.” He stated that a person needs to be everywhere; on TV, bus station ads, all over every social channel. The key for Grant has been to figure out the road to get to where he is going before doing anything else. He explained, “Before I describe what my brand is, I would find out what my lines are to get to my public.”
David interjected that in order for a brand to be successful, they must help others to achieve success as well. He stated, “What’s the value that you are bringing to the actual experience of the person on the other side of the table?”
Question 3: Are there any specific tips you have for branding an image in a person’s mind?
Grant advised that in the beginning, a company needs to stick with whatever image has been cultivated to avoid confusion and dismembering something that has already been somewhat established. He stated, “Stay with one message before you go to the second message.” Through consistency, a brand can have a lasting impression on people.
David drew the conclusion that too many companies only look at the here and now of modern day trends and build around that. For a more impactful and lasting brand to be constructed it should be timeless. He then went on to discuss that Apple’s “Think Different” campaign and how it displayed imagery of Einstein, Gandhi, Lennon, and more in black and white. This was Apple’s way of reflecting timeless values to the consumer.
Question 4: What are some specific challenges that you have seen with branding?
David expounded that it is quite common for businesses, large and small, to lose perspective of branding because they are too attached to their vision. It’s unravels as something of a love affair that becomes detrimental to the brand outcome. He voiced, “People are usually too close to it.”
Grant agreed as he reflected on an old idea that he thought would take the world by storm; yet couldn’t figure out why people hated it. It was only after bringing in a consultant that he was shown what was turning off the audience and eventually abandoned it. He said that in order to brand oneself, they must be willing to pound their message 24 hours a day from everywhere they can.
Branding is a big, complicated, beautiful game. Thanks to Grant and David for highlighting the best and brightest aspects of this crucial business element.
Think you’re ready to dream big and create a killer brand? Let us know and we will help you engineer a brand that articulates your vision and sets you apart from the pack.