Branding: Start With Strategic Differentiation

So much is written about branding.
What it is. How to do it.

Sloganeers say it in the tag line. Designers communicate it via the logo, type font and packaging. Social media experts focus on content and the various alternative ways and means to communicate the message.

All of which are relevant and important. But all of which are tactical, not strategic and none of which are at the most fundamental and basic root of branding. And none of which is where branding and brand strategy starts.

Because when you strip away all the noise and all the clutter, what branding is all about, where it starts and what has to be determined before any of the above are contemplated, let alone executed, is the answer to the following question-

What one promise or commitment can you own and deliver consistently,
that your competition can’t or doesn’t,
that your customers and prospects value?

However you get to that answer-SWOT analyses, market research, or any discovery process that incorporates your own organization, your competition and the marketplace and your customers and prospects- the answer to that question is what will drive every other marketing related activity in your company-both internal and external. Not only drive those activities but help you make them more consistently and efficiently.

I don’t know which came first-the chicken or the egg. But when it comes to branding and brand strategy the answer is crystal clear.