Who is the leader of the brand?

I received a comment last week that struck a chord with me.

The commenter was concerned that the name of the brand received much more attention than it deserved, particularly in defining the brand itself.

I see his point.

The brand is much more than a name, a logo, a slogan and a color palette. All those elements are necessary in conveying a prime, unique brand personality. But the essence of the brand is in the guts of the company or product.

Read the chapter New Business: New Brand from Tom Peter’s Re-imagine! Here he discusses the essence of a brand. Why is it being introduced? What is it’s “Dramatic Difference” (one of Doug Hall’s “laws of marketing physics” as Mr. Peters points out).”

Expose the vision and share the passion behind the product or service. That’s why you should start the branding process with a look at the emotional reasons you plan to introduce the new brand. (I do believe today that every new successful product introduction was first a decision made with emotion and passion of champions with a dream. Only then did they find a way to rationalize the decision, but that was justification for the already-made decision.)

Anyway, it’s the branding team who needs to discover and “bottle” that passion as a brand. The way you differentiate and position and segment and finally crystallize the brand identity, how you demonstrate the emotion to targeted prospects, determines the success of the brand.

And now back to my main point: it is the name above all other elements that will stand for the product. If the name can convey that emotional level and tenor, it has become the vanguard of the brand. With a single word or two, the brand attracts associations, emotions and attributes that set it apart as a memorable, viable brand.

Yes, the name is just one branding element. It’s part of the brand in the same way the drum major leads the marching band. All are in step and their uniforms are, well, uniform. But who wears the fanciest uniform? Who sets the tempo and is the first to be seen?

Let’s just say the name is the leader in the band of brand.

Martin Jelsema

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