Tag Archives: twuttle

birthofbrand1

Birth of your brand

We all know of the brain teaser, ‘which came first, the chicken or the egg’ .The subject came up during a recent Twuttle meeting of the local Twitterati and at the time there seemed to be no connection with this and how we do business. Not that we engage in idle banter during these gatherings of course! However, having been prompted to put some thought into the subject, certain aspects came to life!

The egg, the core idea or brand thought, is a single word which brings together all facets of your brand and a strong identity means that consumers will think of your company first when they think of your product category. Beans = Heinz, Vacuum Cleaner = Hoover, Biro = Bic. Everything is built around this, starting with the logo, running seamlessly throughout all the marketing material and the website. A few years ago, when the fashion brand Tommy Hilfiger prepared to launch their collection in the UK, billboards were simply covered with the brand name and supported with magazine adverts, saying nothing more than the news that Hilfiger was coming! Without any preview of the clothing range, potential stockists were pleading to be on the approved list of outlets and the success of the brand was established without a single piece of the collection being seen prior to the UK release.

We tend to view the brand as something which develops after the product innovation, but which really comes first? The Brand should represent the soul of the company and be there at the birth, followed by the marketing strategy, corporate objective and brand message. It’s the foundation on which every essential feature grows and should be in the forefront of your mind when you originate the idea for a product or service. Customers may come and go and products evolve and develop, but a strong brand message will survive change. It’s your value promise, both visible and audible, connecting the name, logo and strapline (slogan) to the product, building a relationship with the marketplace.

Should you decide to launch a new product under the established brand name in the future, the identity should be strong enough to support a credible brand extension. Bear in mind that this needs to be compatible with the brand’s foundation. You wouldn’t for example, expect McDonalds to open a chain of greengrocers. Whilst adding a new product can strengthen and benefit the parent brand if it’s relevant to the core brand message, deviating too far from the original product can damage perception, even more so if it proves to be a bad egg!

Bringing us back to the chicken and egg condundrum, the other question posed in the discussion was who first made the decision that a boiled egg and soldiers would be an improvement on the raw ingredient? One of our early entrepreneurs do you think?

TWITTERING ON….

What a difference a year has made for those of us who can be considered Internet or Digital Immigrants, defined by the Urban Dictionary as ‘someone who has not grown up with the current technology’. I meandered into the world of Twitter around 12 months ago, unconvinced of any business benefit. The words of the comedian Bill Bailey spring to mind when he said something to the effect of “I posted on Twitter that I was eating a sandwich and 17 people immediately tweeted to ask what kind of sandwich”. But then on thinking about it, at least the Twitterati were aware of his existence. They’d noticed him. If something as inane as eating habits caught the attention of however many ‘followers’, shouldn’t tweeting business news and links to your blog or website work as effectively? If you’re reading this in response to our Tweet, then there’s proof that it does. We all like free advertising, even more so when it gets results. 

If like me, you’ve arrived late on the scene and are blinking slightly at the bright new world of technology, you may need to hook up with an Internet Native who will translate the language of microblogging and social networking to kick start your fusion marketing. Internet Natives, those in their 20’s think differently. They want to access information rapidly, send messages instantly and they thrive in a networking environment. We, the immigrants still talk of ‘dialing a number’, or ‘looking things up’ instead of ‘searching’. We’ve arrived late on the scene and our accent and vocabulary give us away. If we remain resistant to the ever rapidly changing technological landscape we run the risk of missing out on a valuable business tool. However, Twitter on it’s own, even if used effectively, still needs to be reinforced with face-to-face networking and interaction on sites such as Linkedin. We have local Twuttles and Twuddles, meeting up with followers in a relaxed environment, where we can learn to adapt to our new environment at ease, putting a face to the Twitter name. It’s true that we may need to weed through what may seem to be pointless babble on sites such as Twitter and Facebook but if 100 of our followers take note of what our business has to offer and this is then read by all of their followers, the message spreads far and wide. To quote the BP President Bill Schrader, “Almost overnight, the internet’s gone from a technical wonder to a business must”. 

So, what’s in your sandwich today?