Accidental Branding or Intentional Branding?
We interview Bill Peel about the smart approach to branding your business.
The Accidental Brand Versus The Intentional Brand
Robert Riggs: Hi, it’s Robert and Brad with the Clarity Digital Clip of the Week. And we’re talking to Bill Peel with 40 years of experience of marketing and branding experience.
Bill Peel: That’s correct.
Robert Riggs: So I know one of your favorite topics is the accidental brand. How does that happen?
Bill Peel: Well, it is my favorite topic, Robert, because I think if you’re not careful with the business and actually with your personal brand for that matter, and you don’t protect it and are not intentional with your decisions around your brand that you’re going to end up with whatever brand the marketplace assigns to you. And that can sometimes work in your favor and other times, it can be disastrous.
So the real message is, think very strategically and very intentionally about all your brand decisions, everything from the color, to the mark, to the name. And I know in today’s world, we’ve got a wide range of names that have popped up like Uber and Google and Amazon. It’s almost any name goes in today’s world. But I will say that you want to make very sure that you’re extremely about it, you understand all the implications.
And on an international level, how does it translate? There are words and there are marks that work very well in western culture. And when you go to Europe or you go to the Pacific Rim or you go to Latin America, and it takes on a whole entirely different connotation. So the message is to be very intentional about your brand.
Robert Riggs: Where do you start?
Bill Peel: Well, you start with a great name. And I think that you guys have a fabulous name. My mother should know. But you start with your name.
Brad Besancon: He helped us create it.
Robert Riggs: One day on a whiteboard.
Brad Besancon: One day on a whiteboard.
Bill Peel: Well, I think the key is that you have – your name should reflect what you do. Now, there are people that will look around and say, “Well, why does Amazon reflect a massive distribution company or what does Uber have to do with cars?”
Well, when you introduce a name like that, one of these new millennial type names, you really have to have a strong rationale behind it and explain what that means. So it’s really best if your name is reflective of what you do or more importantly, reflective of your value proposition. What are you delivering on the marketplace?
In your case, you’re adding clarity to people’s business. So I think you start with a good name. I think you can start with keeping it very simple. What I see more often is these brands are too heavily articulated. There are too many aligns, too many messages, too taglines. Sometimes you have a very simple and then the taglines, a sentence long trying explain. If you have to explain that much about the mark or about the name, you probably need to go back and revisit the name.