Branding that Gets to Aha!
Andy Cunningham played a key role in the launch of the original Macintosh. Which I think qualifies her to say, “Hey, I’m kind of a big deal!” I mean, Steve Jobs level big deal.
But she doesn’t say that at all. Instead, she helps other organizations with branding, positioning and marketing.
She’s just released a book, Get to Aha!: Discover Your Positioning DNA and Dominate Your Competition. It’s a framework to help you understand and position your company. I found it intriguing and asked her to share some of her experience with you.
“Perceptions today are grounded in and sustained by authenticity.” -Andy Cunningham
Branding Gone Wrong
You recently surveyed 100 North American CEOs, and fewer than 1/3 felt that the brand strategy they had commissioned had been effective. Why do we so often get it wrong?
Branding campaigns fail or fall flat for several reasons: resistance to change, uncertainty around how to implement the strategy, too many competing ideas—maybe even business strategy that has moved beyond a recently completed brand initiative.
But there’s another big reason: branding is too much fun. (Yes, really!) Branding is the part of a marketing campaign that gets a lot of attention—the eye candy that the senior leadership is quick to notice. Why? Because it speaks to the emotional side of a product or service and is a great distraction from the day-to-day, boring details behind that product or service. But when you launch straight into branding before parsing those “boring” details—before you understand the exact space in the marketing landscape your company is uniquely qualified to fill—you’re putting the cart before the horse. A sexy or fun brand package is great to look at, but if it doesn’t capture a company’s role and relevance in the market (its position), then it’s little more than a pretty face without any substance to back it up. That’s where my DNA-based methodology comes in. It offers an actionable framework for using your company’s genetic makeup to determine competitive advantage.