What is Branding and the Benefits of Doing it Right?
Monday, November 15, 2021
by: Mara Dickson

Section: Newsletter Articles

During the AHTD Marketing Minutes at our "Better Together" Fall Meeting in Colorado Springs, we talked about Branding.

We discovered:
  1. Branding Done Right and Branding Gone Wrong;
  2. Steps to Consolidating Company Brand; and
  3. The Whys and Hows of Personal Branding
Today’s article will focus on the information contained in the first talk: What is Branding and the benefits of doing it right!

We all use the word BRAND when talking about companies whose products we purchase with deliberation - perhaps because of prestige like Aston Martin, or maybe because of the product’s quality, like IKEA. This is pretty close to the way Marketers use the term too. BRAND refers to the way a product, a company, or individual is perceived by those who experience it. The idea of a brand lives in the mind of the customer and applies beyond the mere products a company sells.

- Brand is the perception of a product, a company, or individual by those who experience it.
- Beyond products, the idea of the brand lives in the mind.

The idea of brand also lives in the minds of employees and potential employees. When done right, brand:
  • is a key pillar in company strength,
  • positions an enterprise
  • conveys what it stands for as a product or service supplier and workplace, and
  • offers a promise of performance to consumers, to employees, and potential employees.

OK my automation friends – and this applies to all of us, not just the Marketing Minds back in the office - your time has come! These days employees and customers alike are looking for the right cultural fit, and while consumer branding targets anyone who might purchase your products and services, your employer brand conveys what your company values as a workplace.

It might be helpful to look at some examples of successful and unsuccessful brands to truly understand how knowing your company’s brand can help avoid some costly missteps. 

HONDA LogoKnown for product excellence and affordable cost, Honda is known for its "sterling reputation for quality" across all of their product lines, and they say they are constantly on the lookout for bright, ambitious team players who have a strong commitment to improving society, the environment, as well as themselves because "the best people produce the best products".

Sunkist LogoOriginally a cooperative of orange growers, Sunkist, have expanded to include lemon growers as well saying: "Since 1893 we’ve been doing what we do best: growing citrus". Sunkist say their "employees grow, too—in a nourishing environment that brings out the best in people".

Arm & Hammer LogoBeginning in 1846 in the Dwights’ kitchen, Church and Dwight actually CREATED demand for “pure and simple” baking soda by extending its use for personal care, household cleaning, and the passive absorption of fridge and freezer odors. Arm and Hammer have demonstrated their understanding of how consumers see their brand by successfully expanding into a wide range of completely different products, emphasizing that it is a place where "employees make a real difference"!

On the other hand, do you remember any of these regrettable missteps?

ESPN, Smith & Wesson, Colgate Logos
Does ESPN have any business selling mobile phones?

Did you buy a Smith and Wesson bicycle??

How about Colgate’s 1966 “Colgate Kitchen” line of freeze-dried chicken and crabmeat entrees? YUM!

These failed products reflect what I mean when I say that a brand applies beyond the products it sells. In the case of Colgate, "minty freshness in a healthy mouth" did not translate to "healthy and convenient"!

The final 3 companies made assumptions about what their brand meant to consumers, and we were averse to their new products. A strong brand can be the difference between talented candidates knocking down your door wanting to work for you, and recruiters struggling to fill key positions.

Is it possible to influence how consumers and potential employees alike view your brand and to properly position it to grow and inspire? We will talk about this more in the next AHTD Marketing Minute.

Please be sure to connect with Leigha, AHTD, and me, and follow our community hashtags to watch for our posts on the AHTD LinkedIn page and keep up with the best in industrial automation!

We are #doinghightechbetter, together!