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Monetizing Luxury Online
by Kate Benson, Founding managing partner
Martens & Heads!

Given to research, it is still not clear whether social media is the direct reason that someone goes into a store and buys a product. But if you’re a savvy CMO, you need to be able to explain to your CEO, why an investment in social is necessary.

Aflac the Clever Duck Adds Significantly to the Company’s Valuation
by James R. Gregory, CEO, CoreBrand

The Aflac brand, headquartered in Columbus, GA, has more than doubled in brand equity, from 6.4% in 2002 to 12.8% in 2010, as a percentage of its market cap. The value translates from just under $1 billion in 2002 to $3.4 billion in 2010, according to CoreBrand’s Brand Equity data. It is pretty clear that as much fun as the Aflac Duck is to watch, it is doing some pretty significant business.

Look, Listen and Connect
by Cheryl Swanson

It is our philosophy as brand experts to look, listen and connect. We fully immerse ourselves in the brand culture and evaluate the brand from a consumer perspective. We explore the trends around us, then develop a brand essence and visual positioning, including a visual language to better communicate and connect with the consumer.

Retail, Fashion – Time to Let Consumers Join the Brand Community
by Kate Benson, Founding, managing partner Martens & Heads!

In today’s hyper-paced, sound bitten world, digital marketing allows a brand to become multidimensional. Not only can a brand be broadened to represent a company and its lines, it is now capable of becoming almost a “living organism.” By becoming digitally inclusive, a brand can give its audience the chance to gain access past the gates – and join the exclusive brand “community.”

Social Tribes Are More Potent Than Social Networks
by Dr. Bob Deutsch

To build a social brand, marketers should not waste time asking what consumers like, need or want; they should discover who these people really are.  This requires research techniques that can elicit stories about how people feel about their world and the larger world.  The subtext of stories define people’s identities, not their interests. This modification in perspective will help marketers have a hand in sculpting the changes that are shifting the ground under their feet.

by Julie Cucchi

Wiki is the “it” word of the moment. (Toss a few “wikis” around and mix in a “crowd sourcing” or two for good measure and you’re all set for the holiday parties).  From Wikiversity to Lyricwiki to Shopwiki to Foodwiki, there is apparently nothing you can learn, do, buy or play that isn’t wikified. And Wikileaks are spilling all over us. 

Infusing Trends into Your Brand
by Meg Asaro, Cultural Curator, Toniq

Brands are built on cultural DNA and therefore, must evolve with the times and shifting consumer desires. To successfully navigate such turbulent waters, we recommend for marketers to steward brands through a "trend process", recognizing that the brand essence resides in quintessential equities - visual, sensorial, experiential and personality - that create truly emotional bonds with consumers.

Slouching Toward Brand Accountability
by James R. Gregory, CEO, CoreBrand

Theoretically, the CEO is responsible for the value of the corporate brand. Unfortunately, it is a rare CEO who understands how brand equity value is created. CEOs would love to see their company prosper but few understand how to take command or utilize the tools available to make it so.

Brand Keys 11 for 11: Brand and Marketing Trends for 2011
by Dr. Robert Passikoff

Predictive loyalty metrics allow marketers to decipher consumers' emotions, expectations, and imminent behaviors in the marketplace. Happily, Brand Keys is an authority on customer loyalty. And, as real loyalty metrics measure the direction and velocity of consumer values 12 to 18 months in advance of the marketplace, they allow us to identify future trends with uncanny accuracy.

It's Time to Put "Brand" On the Balance Sheet
by James R. Gregory, CEO, CoreBrand

The idea of putting the corporate brand on the balance sheet is an audacious proposition, one that can revolutionize marketing, change the role of everyone responsible for the health of brands, and make the US more competitive in the world.

The Importance of Finding Your “Brand Voice”
by Len Stein, President, Visibility Public Relations

Today, as the triple-screen universe converges with the next web, brand voice has emerged as the key to successfully engaging consumers whose light-speed social media networks can determine a brand’s fate virtually overnight.

HP Brand Was Slipping Before Hurd Slipped
by James R. Gregory, CEO, CoreBrand

Mark Hurd served as the CEO of HP since 2005. He was known on Wall Street as a cost-cutter. Cost cutters tend to be loved for their short-term financial gains, but there is a flaw to their management style in that they typically find it difficult to build the long-term value of their corporate brand.

Beyond Gen Y: Discovering the Truth About"Post-1988" Females
by Dr. Bob Deutsch and Heidi Dangelmaier

Count the Post-88s at the head of the pack when it comes to seeking to discover and express more of their true identity. For them to approve a product, it must reflect and expand these young women's sense of authenticity. Everything else is simply lost in translation.

A Brief History of Brand Crises, Can BP Survive as a Brand?
by James R. Gregory, CEO, CoreBrand

A brand crisis can take many forms, which can linger differing lengths of time depending on the survivability of the brand. Every corporate brand crisis is unique; each has a starting point when the CEO becomes responsible for the survival of the company. BP's bumbling management of its Gulf crisis, its seemingly endless decision making process, not to mention post-crisis effects that will last decades, make this crisis unprecedented.

BP - When Alignment Between Brand, Business and Culture Fails
by James R. Gregory, CEO, CoreBrand

Branding is all about creating alignment of your companies' business processes with its corporate culture. British Petroleum (BP) provides a case in point of a brand that got way out front of its business process and culture to produce tremendous exposure to risk.

Viva la difference, How Brands Should Appeal to Women
by Dr. Bob Deutsch

In my work as a cognitive anthropologist I study how the mind works, how people “make meaning,” how people form attachments to things, how people make decisions. In that search I have inadvertently uncovered something about viva la difference. Marketers need to understand the implications of this difference.

The End of Branding
by Julie Cucchi

I recently read an interview with a designer of several iconic, youth-targeted brands, announcing that beginning Spring 2010 he would give up all efforts to brand any of his, well, his brands.  'No more logos!' What alarms me is that someone who has created and marketed several successful brands could be so clueless about what ‘branding’ is. And isn’t.

Lessons Learned from Second Life
by Dr. Tracy Tuten

Second Life and other virtual worlds have enormous branding opportunities. In terms of social media, virtual worlds really are communities in the most literal sense, and it is the level of interaction and engagement that creates such a strong platform for branding. Here's how to capitalize on it.

The Worst of Times Demand the Best of Brands
Julie Cucchi
The brands that make the tough choices from messaging to design, from headlines to packaging, focusing like a laser on who they are and how they fit into their consumers’ lives will be rewarded. The others will suffer. Branding, in times like these, is not a luxury. It is a survival tool.

Designing Sticky Packaging at Retail
by Ted Mininni
Packaging makes both brand and product tangible to the consumer. We could argue that it is the singularly most important touch point because it delivers both into consumers’ hands. Not only should brands be sticky; packaging should be, as well.

Brand Image, Brand Action and User Experience
by Kathryn Tector, User Experience Expert at T4G
The unprecedented pace of technology growth, adoption, and application particularly over the last five years, has led to a customer experience tipping point. The consumer is now in the driver’s seat with the power to “demand” more than ever before. Brands need to channel this consumer power and influence the direction that is favourable to the brand, yet allows consumers to create their own path. At T4G we view this as delivering on both brand image and brand action, and the user experience is the key.

The 8 Biggest Branding Mistakes Organizations Make
by Sam Horn

In helping individuals and organizations develop one-of-a-kind identities I've met a lot of people who have spent a lot of money developing brands and slogans that didn't work. In fact, bad brands can cost you customers, income, momentum and market-share. I've kept track of the 8 biggest branding mistakes business make. I share them here so you can do the opposite of these errors and develop a Purposeful, Original and Profitable brand that gets you noticed . . . for all the right reasons.

Your Brand Is Everything
by Joe Calloway

Nothing is more important than your brand, because it’s what defines you, regardless of the work you do. It should be your top priority to build, protect, and represent your brand to the best of your ability in every interaction you have with others. The essence of building a strong brand is simply this: keeping your promises and creating great experiences for others.

Beyond Functionality: Communicating What Your Product Does and More!
by Lynn Altman

Creating the story, the emotion, and the unique promise behind a product is the difference between having and idea and successfully selling a product - which is what the game is all about.

Establishing Meaningful Packaging Communications: Across Multiple Retail Channels and Over the White Noise
by Ted Mininni

Packaging is our last and most formidable communication to the customer as they stand in front of the retail shelf - it had better be our most meaningful and our best.

The Solution to Brand Dilution
by Joseph Benson, Rob Levinson, and Drew Allison

How a company can grow through acquisition without losing its identity.

The Eternal Principles for Creating Luxury Brands
by Dan Herman, Ph.D.

This article is about the time proven principles for creating luxury brands in order to attract affluents. Some of these are truly counter-intuitive and surprising.

The Surprising Secret of Successful Differentiation
by Dan Herman, Ph.D.

A successful differentiation is not imitated by your competitors, even though it brings you unmistakable success with consumers. It seems impossible, but true.

True Brand Differentiation - Not New or Improved
by Ted Mininni

True brand differentiation is about one simple, and often overlooked thing: consistently meeting, and exceeding, the basic needs and desires of the consumer.

Use Market Research to Understand Your Markets. Use Brand Research to Understand Your Customers
by Joseph Benson

Brand and market research are not mutually exclusive. Sometimes, by simultaneously employing both brand and market research, you can develop a multi-dimensional perspective of your business and your customers.

Competitive Branding Strategies
by Linda Fisher

In this presentation, we will examine several key points that businesses must implement if they are to succeed in this new global world of business. There are five keys that will unlock your firm's potential.

Heritage: A Master Brand Builder
by Joseph Benson

If there is any one single characteristic and attribute of a brand that provides sustainable competitive advantage, it is heritage.

Al Ries Might be Dangerous to Your Brand
by Dan Herman, Ph.D.

In the business world's hall of fame a special place is reserved for Al Ries. He is without any doubt one of the most prominent gurus of strategic thinking. Regretfully, Ries's continued influence is becoming today a considerable danger to successful brand building and brand management.

Super Advertising Slogans and Super Costs
by Naseem Javed

Advertising slogans or taglines pushing sales are great for getting a customer’s attention as they often tangle and hold them hostage for a second or two. Some taglines catch the user’s attention, but most are simply confusing, causing them to “escape the trap” and run away.

Creating Brand Instrumentality Beyond the Product
by Dr. Dan Herman

The understanding of the different kinds of added value, the ways these values are instrumental to the consumer and the methods by which brands can be means for the consumer for achieving his goals, makes the difference between masterful creations of brands and amateur imitation.

The Black Hole of Corporate Branding
by Naseem Javed

Is this the dawning of the age of branding or just another black hole? The sooner you come out of the bondage of the old fashioned marketing and branding campaigns, the sooner you will see a new dawn. There is certainly light on the other side of this black hole.

Is Your Brand Going to Graduate or Be Stuck in Adolescence?
by Joseph Benson and Bret Kinsella

Brands have a lifecycle that is best understood in stages. Each stage has both a short and longterm impact on how customers view your brand. The five stages of your brand’s lifecycle begin with the brand definition and then progresses through four distinct customer experiences.

Why is ENRON Now Called PRISMA?
by Naseem Javed

Should we be amused by PRISMA’s name identity as an imaginary, environmentally friendly rainbow that is now arching from their HQ all the way to the big house?

The 'Marketing Scenario' - A Reality Check on Your Marketing Strategy
by Dan Herman, Ph.D.

The 'Marketing Scenario' is a practical tool designed to help you make sure that you have a winning marketing strategy to support your brand.

Great Brands Just Say “No”
by Claude Singer
Achieving brand differentiation is, to a large degree, a daily exercise in saying no. No to fads and conformity; no to temptations to wander from a brand’s core; no to departures from what makes a brand great.

The Impact of Cultural Transformation on Brand Marketing
by Cheryl Swanson
Brands can remain relevant only when they remind us of our humanity. Brands need empathy, sensory, simplicity and optimism to make a solid human connection.

The Brand Called You
by Steven Van Yoder

Get Slightly Famous! Building a slightly famous brand is not just about what you do; it's about what you do differently from everyone else.

Branding for Integrity – Going Beyond Ethics
by Larry Ackerman
There are other aspects of this thing we call “integrity” that we don’t normally think about – ideas which are even more basic than ethics and that inform the true meaning of brand.

What your Human Resources Department Can Learn from Fedex: The Power of a Strong Brand
by Joe Benson and Bret Kinsella

Great brands provide a source of identification and an assurance of quality. They simplify decision-making and crisply communicate the value they create for their customers. And great brands make and keep their promises. How does this apply to an HR department?

Brand Loyalty Starts and Ends with the Consumer
by Pam Danziger
Brands are far more than just a marketing concept or an asset on the company’s financial statement. The brand is the contract between the company and the consumer with the terms of the contract written in emotions.

Hitting the “Red” Target - The Role of Color in Establishing Brand Identity
by Cheryl Swanson
Color and brand identity are inextricably linked. A brand’s identity is a symbolic representation of it’s reason for being in our lives; a visual distillation of its core marketing message.

Deeper Than Skin: Why Brand Expression Matters
by Julie Newton-Cucchi

Brand expression - how your brand expresses itself from its name, logo, corporate ID, packaging design and copy, web design and copy and all the annoying rules that fill its style guide - is the most tangible manifestation of your brand's essence; intimations before purchase of the brand's soul, validation and reminder of its promise after trial.

Brands and the Importance of Being Visual
by Cheryl Swanson and Kyla Lang
Only in the past decade, has the visual brand presence, what we consider “brand essence,” been approached in anything resembling a strategic, holistic, creative manner.

The Masquerade Ball During the Typing Revolution ...
by Naseem Javed

Corporations, dressed up like Charlatans and Harlequins, have done enough dancing; shareholders are no longer fooled by fancy images, fake identities with silly names, making fun of their investments. Everyone demands honesty from every aspect of the business empire.

What's Your EQ? How the Retail Business Became the Emotion Business … Are you Ready?
by Wendy Liebmann

As in all of our lives today, even our shopping lives, we search for an emotional connection that will allow us to differentiate the same from the unrivalled, the ordinary from the extraordinary.

Why Corporate Images Die a Slow Death
by Naseem Javed

When sleek world class corporate images go up in flames like ENRON, WorldCom, GlobalCrossing, and start looking badly charred like ENWRONG, WorldCon, DoubleCrossing or when names become obvious liabilities like, Consignia, Thus, Thales, Xansa, or Uniq ... then it’s time to call the gate-keepers of Corporate Identity on a red carpet.

Color-blind Customers of Today
by Naseem Javed

Think of Blue and what comes to mind is a blue ocean. A blue sky? Sometimes Big Blue, which is IBM. They did truly acquire a secondary meaning and a legendary position of being recognized as such. But it’s time to leave the pretty rainbows in the sky, alone.

The Opportunity of a Movie Title
by Meredith Muncy & Christine Blake
A dialogue between Meredith Muncy & Christine Blake of Vibrato Naming. (Listen slowly - it's about 'naming' and 'branding' and we are all now in the 'hits' business. ed.)

CEO Profile - What I do, Why it's Important, and How it Makes a Difference
Meredith Muncy, Vibrato Naming

Brands have recently moved beyond serving solely as marketing assets that build equity. Today, brands actually interact with audiences, delivering meaning into our lives on a host of personal and cultural levels.

Facing a Brand Naming Initiative?
by Meredith Muncy and Christine Blake

Whether you're naming a new venture or renaming as part of a strategic shift, there are several options available to business leaders. Meredith Muncy, CEO of Vibrato Naming provides an excellent analysis of the options and the strategic steps in the process.

For a Brand to Pack Punch, the Business had Better Reflect the Brand
by Mary Lou Zievis
What is most critical is putting the brand at the heart of the organization - and then live up to the image that it inspires.

The New Positioning - Minds Can’t Cope!
summarized by Rick Sidorowicz
The New Positioning by Jack Trout is no longer new - but fortunately, it still provides the "clearest path."

Related Topics: Marketing Insight | Sales & Marketing | Public Relations

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