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Branding Blog

Is Your Brand All Style and No Substance?


“What really decides consumers to buy or not to buy is the content of your advertising, not its form.”— David Ogilvy

The very same can be said about branding.

Branding is, by layman’s tendency to misunderstand it, a process of giving your brand an identity, which usually consists of a stylish logo you are proud enough to parade on every piece of flyer, print ad, billboard, cereal boxes, cars and carrier pigeons you can get your hands on.

Well, it somewhat is – but that’s just the surface stuff.

Said items are merely the mediums that carry your brand. And truth be told, they are hardly the reason why anyone would buy into your products.

There’s more to branding than just that. Going the whole nine-yards and saturating the market with your brand name (which is unfortunately, the norm nowadays) won’t do the trick; you need substance, which comes in the form of content. It’s best to clearly identify what it is that you want to say and then, pick a medium that will best convey the message you want to send out to your consumers.

In short, there’s got to be a pretty damn solid reason as to why your brand is printed on the back of my grandmother’s t-shirt, if you should choose to do so. Not just because it was a premium that was made available to you in the first place.

We didn’t create The Bullet expecting our readers to subscribe to it because it’s an e-newsletter, but because it carries stories of value to them. And that an e-newsletter, as a medium, offers much easier access than say, an actual newsletter or a book.

Just think about this.

How often are you convinced into buying a certain product just because the brand was hawking it on one of the many billboards along the Federal Highway?

Ever clicked on a web banner because it was relentlessly switching frames and doing all sorts of cyber gymnastics to make you hover towards “Find Out More”?

Were you ever tempted to try out a diet supplement because its website was printed on someone else’s car sticker?

Or the last time you actually tried out a new Japanese restaurant, just because some random bloke forced a promo flyer into your hands?

Going for the fancy and falling short on sense and substance is, really, a mistake that many of us overlook. So the next time you plan to shave your logo onto a camel’s hump, ask yourself this – is this medium capable of justifying what my brand has to say? Is there substance to this thing? Will people really buy into it?

Or is it just another product placement that fits my fancy?

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