Whether marketing a corporate brand or a branded product or service, success increasingly demands proactive branding. Branding is everything. Brands are not simply products or services. Brands are the sum total of all the images that people have in their heads about a particular company and a particular mark.

Great brands encompass three characteristics that possess a winning combination when executed correctly. The road to branding success requires a unique discernment of the value proposition being offered followed by vision, patience and perseverance.


As with all brands, the voyage from obscurity to trusted products/services occurs when adhering to a disciplined process referred to as the ABC’s of branding: ATTRIBUTES, BEHAVIOUR and CIRCUMSTANCES. What do these ABC’s have to do with great brands? The lack of a solid foundation for a brand will ultimately undermine its future success. This foundation goes beyond the logo and brand fascia and provides the underpinnings of legitimacy and ability to deliver real value. The discussion begins with presenting the ABC’s of great brands and applying the “Triad Brand Test” as the metric for success.

Whether you are discussing people, places, or things, attributes are the basis by which you compare, contrast, and distinguish levels of acceptance for use and/or consumption. Why do you buy a certain car, brand of clothing, or a cup of coffee? Attributes alone will not satisfy anyone.

Would you consider yourself a rational consumer? Marketers could gain greater insight into attributes/behavior relationship by observing HOW people actually behave versus WHAT people say they do (i.e. surveys).

The circumstances surrounding how we make purchasing decisions are situational at best! As a marketer, you may have the right attributes and behavior in place, but if the setting isn’t appropriate, the whole concept falls apart.

Branding is often confused with “corporate identity” or “corporate image.” They actually have very different meanings:

Corporate identity refers to a company’s name, logo, tagline — its visual expression or its “look.”
Corporate image is the public’s perception of a company, whether that perception is intended or not.
Corporate branding, by contrast, is a business process — one that is planned, strategically-focused and integrated throughout the organization. Branding establishes the direction, leadership, clarity of purpose, inspiration and energy for a company’s most important asset, its corporate brand.


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