David Cohen, blogging at Left Brain, Right Brain, has presented and explained the “Three R’s of Branding”.
The post incorporates the basic ideas of branding, and presents a very succinct and well conceived way of thinking about branding.
His three R’s are: Recognition, Reputation and Reaction.
I found his discussion of reputation particularly cogent. Here’s a quote:
“Reputation: In the end your branding is a suggestion that your company makes about relevance and meaning, and it is your customers, prospects and partners who get to decide what your brand truly means to them.”
And that’s the key: successful branding will influence your stakeholders, but in the long run, they themselves perceive and define your brand.
That’s a hard fact for Type-A executives to fathom. But until you’ve set long-term branding goals, developed consistent and integrated brand signals and messages, and made sure you are able to live up to your brand promise, you only confuse and sometimes disappoint customers and prospects.
Short-term “solutions” to sagging quarterly revenue numbers may damage a brand. Brand integrity must be maintained through the rough periods. Reacting to a five-percent drop in stock value by compromising the brand is foolhardy.
And so, remember where the brand resides – in the collective minds of stakeholders. Compromising branding messages and brand delivery will cause confusion and dilution of the mental picture you’ve spent time, money and energy to develop and sharpen.
Reputation takes time to build but perhaps only days to demolish.
To read David’s entire blog, click Branding’s Three R’s.