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Monday, 3 January 2011

If you want to survive, you must understand this marketing miracle

What lives on when people die?

What persuades people to pay more for something that is no better than alternatives - and sometimes worse?

What makes otherwise sane business-people spend millions for no seemingly sane reason?

What should always be in the back of your mind every time you send out a message or make a business decision?

One word answers all these questions.

The brand.

Managers come and go. Factories may move from one country to another. Products change. And yes, people do die.

But the brand can live on forever. People will pay a lot more just for a brand and what it says about the buyer - even though they know it is no better than the unbranded alternative.

It is like a business safety net. If you have a strong brand people forgive your mistakes. You can live off the "fat" of your brand for years without even advertising.

Here's an example of a brand that's been around since before you were born.

That commercial is over 60 years old. But the brand is still around - stronger than ever with many profitable variations on the original.

Your true long-term business objective should revolve around building the brand.

Yet this is something marketers talk about all the time - and much of the talk is rubbish.

Would you like to know how to build a brand, and what it can do for you?

I have a friend who knows more about this, and can explain it more clearly and entertainingly than anyone I know.

His name is James Hammond and he wrote an excellent book on the subject for the Sunday Times business books series which is currently being reprinted. He explains the secrets of the brand better than anyone I know.

And you may be amazed to know that I know a bit myself. For 8 years I was on the board of Superbrands and have actually run seminars in several countries on the subject. And I've helped firms like Unilever, Proctor & Gamble, IBM and American Express

I am planning an event on this in Spring on How to Build a Brand, probably in conjunction with a university here.

Would you like to know more? Would you like to see James talking about this?

Just reply to me, Drayton@Draytonbird.com saying "Brand" and I will keep in touch.

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