Fast company article takes a candid look at the amount of brand literature available offline today.
In a recent article called “Obessive Branding Disorder“, Lucas Conley writes about the common sense approach to branding, and speculates that there may be a bit too much chatter about branding and not enough actual common sense implementation.

“Smaller companies aren’t the only ones delivering high-quality products at good value that people love. Disney and Apple spend millions telling people who they are, but why? They’re strong brands because they offer distinct products and services. And they’ve done so for decades. When Disney and Apple have struggled, the root cause has always been that their products weren’t as good, service slipped, or they weren’t living up to customer expectations. Diverting attention away from business problems by calling any of it by a new name wasn’t going to fix it.

Remove the hype, and branding is just commonsense strategy, rebranded. To successfully build a brand, says INSEAD marketing professor Amitava Chattopadhyay, "is to communicate your key value proposition to the key customer segment, and do so in an integrated and consistent way." In other words, Business 101.”

While that message rings quite true, it seems that branding has not hit home the same way for entreprenuers and small to medium businesses as it has with large corporations. In bigger organizations the company identity is established long before the hip, young execs hit the door, where in smaller companies, the idea is being molded as the company grows and changes, often from a one-man entrepreneurial shop to a company with 25 – 2500 employees.

So just as in the self-improvement industry, which the author alludes to later in the article, the need exists to out-source the R & D on branding. And as long as that perceived need exists, common sense though it may be, people will reference those who have built their brands on business-know how in general, like Fast company, or those who have built brands specifically on the knowledge of branding, for answers.

Tinu Abayomi-Paul

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