Archive for June 4th, 2003

Understanding Branding

Wednesday, June 4th, 2003

Tony has been trying to teach me about branding. This all came about because I have had to listen to quite a few people over the last couple of weeks talk about branding. Most of what I’ve heard seemed to be quite mad. So Tony tried to set me straight by lending me The 22 Immutable Laws of Branding.

I was told at one meeting that it would be a really good idea to get a brand name that everyone was already aware of and use it for a new product. The rationale behind this was that if I used a brand that stood for quality then people would think that my new product had quality also. This goes against the first of Al Ries’ laws of branding – The Law of Expansion – which states that the power of a brand is inversely proportional to its scope.

The emphasis in most companies is on the short term. Line extension, megabranding, variable pricing, and a host of other sophisticated marketing techniques are being use to milk brands rather than build them. While milking may bring in easy money in the short term, in the long term it wears down the brand until it no longer stands for anything.

– Al Ries & Laura Ries, The 22 Immutable Laws of Branding.