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Is branding an artifact of the past?

I recently read an article titled “Why Branding is an Artifact of the Past”  which I think touches on a point that should be carefully considered by any B2B marketing professional – Is branding really all that important for your business?

The act of branding today, in the world of B2B, is the conscious effort a company makes to define, refine,and project what it stands for to the world. Its personality, its promise. Sometimes the audience may be quite small, but let’s think big for now, the world, I like that.

Your brand is realized in that special moment when a customer experiences your company, its products, or its services. From the experience, the customer develops an opinion and understanding (accurate or inaccurate) of your company, its products, or its services. And that perception of the whole, greater than the sum of its parts, is your brand. Your brand continues to evolve in the mind of that customer over time as more experiences occur.

Identity marks signify or represent brands, but they are not brands by themselves. So, what is a brand? A brand is the emotional connection between a customer and a company, its products, or its services. A brand elicits feelings. A brand exists in the space where a customer emotionally connects with a company, its products or its services. To cultivate enthusiastic customers and brand loyalty, the goal is to allow a customer to see himself, or at least what he aspires to be, in a brand, your brand.

Getting your brand right means reflecting the essence of your company, truthfully. A brand stands for something. It is predictable. A well-defined brand informs all marketing and communication efforts. The key word here is alignment. Your brand should be congruent with the things your company does, makes, and says.

Your brand needs to be a natural extension of your company, its products, or its services. Otherwise, it isn’t going to be a believable and successful brand. So, I say branding is not an artifact of the past. On the contrary, it is a critical ingredient for business success today and in the future. The important thing to realize is that you can’t simply dream up a brand and expect it to become reality. It takes time and effort, or more simply put, budget.

How does your company view branding in the new world of B2B marketing? Please share your thoughts and opinions.

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