OF BRAND PROMISES

Author : Q MALANDRINO

A few days ago I had a chat with a client on Brand Positioning, about the degree to which some brand concepts may be so ‘perfect’ for a given company that could not be applicable/used by no-one else. I’ve had this discussion with clients in the past and it’s an interesting topic. I’m not a big believer in the ‘exclusivity’ of a concept (with respect to applicability, not legal ownership of course), particularly because the same words uttered / the same concept lived by two different companies in two different industries would take two different meanings; and you tend to see things from where you sit.

Other than in the case of a new company, for which the rules of brand-creation are a bit different, there are two basic imperatives for an organization’s proper brand concept (you know what I mean by it — let’s skip the semantics of Promise, Positioning, Idea, Essence, etc. for a moment here):

• first, Fit: this is the real magic, finding something that goes to and distills the real (or intended/desired) core of the organization vs the need it intends to satisfy; without it, the brand concept would not have depth, could not be relevant, could not be lived by the company and its employees, and would fail to be credible.

• second, Uniqueness: it’s important, for sure, but making it a front and center issue often causes a compromise on Fit. And at any rate, if you can’t findUniqueness (which is very possible) then you aim for Distinctiveness – and that can always be strengthened byintelligently-creative verbal and visual messaging.

• Fit is more important than Uniqueness & Distinctiveness: while you can get around the latter somehow, there’s no fudging the former, which is the only one of the three that can truly be
operationalized and then lived. And if Fit is king, then maybe the following could work:

• Apple: Imagination at Work
• L’Oreal: I’m Loving It
• Tiffany: Open Happiness
• Amazon: We bring good things to life
• Google: Don’t leave home without it
• Equinox Gyms: Just do it
• Virgin: Think Different
• any Beauty company: Because I’m  worth it or Maybe she’s born with it,  (…etc.)

Tell you what: maybe for BrandLink Advisors (my company) I’ll adopt an Imagination at Work positioning; it fits, I’ll just have to find different words for it.
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Q is a Brand Strategy Advisor for Godmother. Spanning a 35+ years’ international career, Q has developed and led brand and identity programs in virtually every industry category and has been a thought leader in many aspects of the Branding discipline – from its philosophical and social value to discreet segments such as Brand Architecture and Internal Brand Alignment. He has served clients such as Johnson &Johnson, Time Inc., Apple, AT&T, IBM, Glaxo, Red Cross, Canon, Duracell, Motorola, France Telecom, Philips, and Xerox – among many others. Q attended Rome University’s School of Economics, Copywriting School at I.E.D in Rome, and School of Visual Arts in New York City. He is the CEO of Brandlink Advisors based in NYC.

If you need help positioning your business, or if you need a coach for your brand, just text or call Godmother at 0915-5648877 or emailgen@godmother.ph. Gen Millare is the CEO of Godmother Philippines, a brand support agency that helps SME’s brand independently.