THE BRAND GAP - Marty Neumeier

  3 min 44 sec to read
THE BRAND GAP - Marty Neumeier

BY Nabin Shrestha

We must understand that a brand is not a company's name or logo. A brand is an intangible feeling that people have when they think of your business. We must also recognise that you have no control over how people perceive your brand; it is simply something you create and hope others enjoy.
‘The Brand Gap’ is the difference between what you believe your brand is and what others believe it is. Furthermore, each individual may have a slightly different perception of your brand. While this is acceptable to some extent, there are ways to close the gap through brand management.
Marty Neumeier divides the book into five disciplines in which he attempts to teach: i. Differentiate ii. Collaborate iii. Innovate iv. Validate, and v. Cultivate.
Differentiate: To begin building your brand, ask yourself three questions: Who are you?, What do you do?, and How can I help you? What difference does it make? Our brains filter out irrelevant information, allowing only what is unique and useful to enter. Tell me once more why your product is important. Differentiation has progressed from focusing on "what it is," to "what it does," to "how you'll feel," to "who you are." While people still value features, benefits, and price, they value experiences and personal identity even more. People build new barriers as globalism removes old ones. They form tribes—intimate worlds in which they can understand and participate. Brand names are tribal gods, each ruling a specific area of the tribe. 
Collaborate: Brands do not emerge in a vacuum. Building a brand takes a village. He describes three fundamental models for managing brand collaboration: i. The one-stop shop, in which one person within the client company directs the entire brand effort; ii. The brand agency, in which the client works with a lead agency, which assists in assembling a team of specialists to work on the brand first; and iii. The integrated marketing team, which views branding as a continuous network activity that must be controlled from within the company. Each of these models has advantages and disadvantages and should be tailored to your specific requirements. In practice, these are more muddled, with many businesses combining elements of all three models.
Innovate: People are moved by design rather than strategy. And the secret to better design and business is innovation. Radical innovation has the potential to obviate competition. The innovator’s mantra: when everyone zigs, zag. How do you know when an idea is innovative? When it scares the hell out of you. Expect outside-the-company innovation, or inside-the-company outside-the-company innovation. Make sure your brand's name is distinct, brief, appropriate, easy to spell and pronounce, likeable, extendible, and protectable. Packing is your final and best opportunity to influence a prospect on this side of the checkout counter. Arrange all of your packaging messages in what is known as a "natural reading sequence."
Validate: The traditional communication model is a relic. By soliciting feedback, you can transform your brand communication from a monologue to a dialogue. Feedback, also known as audience research, can both inspire and validate innovation. The creative community has given research a bad rap. While bad research can be compared to looking in the rearview mirror, good research can propel brands out of reverse and onto the Autobahn. Assess the distinctiveness, relevance, memorability, extendibility, and depth of your company's brand expressions.
Cultivate: Your company is a living organism, not a static entity. Likewise, your brand. A living brand is built on alignment rather than consistency. A living brand is a never-ending play in which every employee is an actor. People notice the play whenever they interact with the brand, and they then tell others about it. Each brand contributor should create their own shockproof brandometer. No decision should be made unless the question "Will it help or hurt the brand?" is asked.
A charismatic brand is any product, service, or company for which people believe there’s no substitute. Any brand can be charismatic, even yours. Modern society is information-rich and time-poor. The value of your brand grows in direct proportion to how quickly and easily customers can say yes to your offering. 


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