Categories
books - business

The Brand Gap

The Brand Gap, Revised Edition (Marty Neumeier)

Here are my favourite excerpts…

So what exactly is a brand? A brand is a person’s gut feeling about a product, service, or company. It’s a GUT FEELING because we’re all emotional, intuitive beings, despite our best efforts to be rational. It’s a PERSON’S gut feeling, because in the end the brand is defined by individuals, not by companies, markets, or the so-called general public. Each person creates his or her own version of it. While companies can’t control this process, they can influence it by communicating the qualities that make this product different than that product. When enough individuals arrive at the same gut feeling, a company can be said to have a brand. In other words, a brand is not what YOU say it is. It’s what THEY say it is.

==========

Brand management is the management of differences, not as they exist on data sheets, but as they exist in the minds of people.

==========

Wanna bring a high-level marketing meeting to a screeching halt? Just do what brand consultant Greg Galle of Creative Capital does—demand unambiguous answers to three little questions: 1) Who are you? 2) What do you do? 3) Why does it matter?

==========

In the world of branding, creativity doesn’t require reinventing the wheel, but simply thinking in fresh ways. It requires looking for what industrial designer Raymond Loewy called MAYA—the Most Advanced Yet Acceptable solution. Creative professionals excel at MAYA. While market researchers describe how the world is, creative people describe how it could be. Their thinking is often so fresh that they zag even when they should zig. But without fresh thinking, there’s no chance of magic.

==========

Q: How do you know when an idea is innovative? A: When it scares the hell out of everybody.

==========

The 7 Criteria For A Good Name…

==========

These two principles create the basis of brand icons. Cognitive scientists estimate that more than half the brain is dedicated to the visual system, adding weight to the argument that a trademark should be strongly visual. Yet it can also involve other senses, including smell, touch, taste, or hearing. Take for example, the auditory counterpart to an icon, sometimes called an “earcon.” The experience of flying United Airlines is now inextricably linked to Gershwin’s “Rhapsody in Blue,” and the Intel Inside brand would be less memorable without its “bong” sound bite.

==========

Finally, FEATURITIS, an infectious desire for MORE, afflicts everyone from the CEO to the programmer. The tendency to add features, articles, graphics, animations, links, buttons, bells, and whistles comes naturally to most people. The ability to subtract features is the rare gift of the true communicator. An oft-heard excuse for cluttered pages is that most people hate clicking, and prefer to see all their choices on one page. The truth is, most people LIKE clicking—they just hate waiting. Eternal waiting, along with confusion and clutter, are the real enemies of communication. Put your website on a diet. You’ll find that subtraction, not addition, is the formula for clear communication.

==========

The best studies are quick and dirty—best not only because they save time and money, but because they’re more likely to focus on one problem at a time. Why boil the ocean to make a cup of tea?

==========

If People Can Change Their Clothes To Suit The Occasion, Why Can’t Brands?

==========

If People Can Change Their Clothes To Suit The Occasion, Why Can’t Brands? The old paradigm in which identity systems try to control the “look” of an organization only result in cardboard characters, not three-dimensional protagonists. The new paradigm calls for heroes with flaws—living brands.

==========

Drama coach Stella Adler often told her students, “Don’t act. Behave.” Living brands are not a stylistic veneer but a pattern of behavior that grows out of character. When the external actions of a company align with its internal culture, the brand resonates with authenticity. If a brand looks like a duck, quacks like a duck, walks like a duck, and swims like a duck, then it must be a duck. If it swims like a dog, however, people start to wonder.

==========

Pass out the compasses. Every person in the company should be issued a personal shockproof brandometer—a durable set of ideas about what the brand is and what makes it tick. Because no decision, big or small, should be made without asking the million-dollar question: “Will it help or hurt the brand?”

==========

A CBO is the executive who lies awake at night thinking, “How can we build the brand?”

==========

Differentiation has evolved from a focus on “what it is,” to “what it does,” to “how you’ll feel,” to “who you are.” While features, benefits, and price are still important to people, experiences and personal identity are even more important.

==========

Visit www.newriders.com and download a free Adobe PDF presentation of the ideas in THE BRAND GAP.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *