Busting Branding Myths

Leadership

Every company has a brand. Some have worked to carefully build their brand, while others have been assigned a brand from their customers that they would rather not have. For every company, the work of defining and building a brand never stops. Because of changing markets, competitors, and products, there is always a need to close the gap between our current brand positioning and our desired brand positioning. It’s possible for any company to close the gap, but you will want to avoid these five branding myths to reach your goal.

I need to have a big budget to build a brand

It’s possible to create and maintain a strong brand regardless of size of company or budget. Start by defining what sets your  company apart from the competition in the mind of your customer, or the dominant selling idea (DSI). Once the DSI is determined, communicate it to customers, and deliver on promises with Iaser-like focus. As leaders, we can accomplish our desired brand identity with clarity, intentionality, and time, all of which don’t cost money. It’s up to leaders to decide if we want to put in the effort to cultivate our brand or have one given to us by default.

The best brands are entertaining

There is a difference between entertainment and effective branding. creating something memorable doesn’t give you lasting business. Poor service, quality, product, etc. will always undermine advertising. Being first or spending the most money doesn’t matter all that much. Focus more on consistently exceeding customer expectations and less on making an initial splash in a market.

Branding is the job of my marketing team

Creative branding ideas are only a start. Billions have been wasted in making a splash rather than building value. While this culture has subdued a bit, it’s imperative for CEOs to understand and authorize marketing efforts – both from the perspective that it requires good stewardship and the fact that the company brand flows out of company culture. Your brand must align with the firm’s stated mission and core values to be credible to internal employees and external customers. Do the work of creating the desired internal brand, and the results will manifest in a quality external brand.

There is no silver bullet on how to build a brand

The truth is, there is a silver bullet, but most companies aren’t willing to put in the time and effort it takes to implement. Successful brands are built with consistent, tightly crafted brand messaging and constant follow through. Break through the clutter by consistently delivering on your promises, and over time your brand positioning will continue to improve.

What built my brand will maintain my brand

Sustained success means conveying a sense of trust and perceived quality. This happens over time, but new threats to your brand are constantly emerging. New competitors, products, delivery systems, and communication tools will be introduced. Your mission of consistent messaging and follow through will remain, but the strategy in which you accomplish those things will need to change along the way to take the next step in your brand positioning.

When you have questions on business topics like branding, how do you get the answers you need to grow your business? Every month, thousands of Christian business owners and CEOs gather together to answer questions and share best practices learned from the combined hundreds of years of business experience around the table.

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  • Kevin Miller Bio

    With over a decade of experience in marketing leadership, brand management, and business development, Kevin has helped numerous companies refine and implement plans to create exponential growth.

    Prior to joining C12, Kevin led a successful Florida-based brand strategy consulting business focused on growing small and medium-sized businesses. Entrepreneurial in spirit, Kevin also has a diverse background in launching start-ups as well as helping struggling or stagnant businesses develop a new course of action. His experience incorporates knowledge from multiple industries including textile manufacturing and design, medicine, real estate, technology, web development, and the creative arts.

    After attending the University of Central Florida where he studied Music Performance, Kevin became involved in worship arts and youth ministries, serving for several years in various leadership roles. He and his wife Beth, an elementary school administrator, have been married since 2000. Together with two sons Kyle and Kamden, they enjoy a wide variety of outdoor activities including hiking, hunting, fishing, and backpacking.

  • Troy Blackmon Bio

    Troy came to The C12 Group in 2008, with a diverse background in executive leadership, sales development, team building, and operations. Through his role as VP of Field Operations, he is committed to serve, equip and encourage CEOs and business owners to lead thriving companies that honor the Lord and serve people.

    During his tenure at Chick-fil-A, Inc. Troy learned that business excellence and glorifying God in the marketplace go hand in hand. Troy managed a P&L of $35+ million in revenue and coached business owners in operational excellence and improving financial results.

    In addition, Troy has been involved in leading small group ministry, including planting a church in Seattle, WA. Troy was formerly Partner at OneAccord, a management-consulting firm focused on accelerating revenue for mid-market companies. While at OneAccord, Troy was privileged to work with numerous technology companies in senior leadership positions, managing sales, marketing, and business development activities. Troy most recently served as the President of a technology private equity group, where he led the management teams of 4 portfolio businesses.

    Troy is married to his high school sweetheart, Shanna, and has been blessed with 4 children. He enjoys golf, cycling, and mountain biking with his family.

  • Mike Sharrow Bio

    Mike joined C12 as a member in 2010 while serving as an executive pastor for a large church in Texas and owner of a healthcare strategy consulting group.  Prior to that, he had served in a variety of leadership roles in both operations and sales corporately for the Walgreen Company, financial services as well as strategic development work with Health by Design.  In 2011 he exited his commitments to join the local C12 practice in San Antonio as an associate chair serving CEOs across that market.  In 2013 he and a partner acquired the greater Central Texas region and stewarded it as it grew to a team of 8 full-time chairmen serving nearly 150 leaders.  Mike is passionate about collaboration, strategic planning, Gospel initiatives and BHAG endeavors.

    With a background spanning Fortune 50 corporate settings, startups, non-profit and local church, Mike has been discipled into an integrated life perspective around the calling all believers share to be disciple-making disciples and ambassadors of Christ across all vocations and contexts.  It was in 2005 when God revealed to Mike the perils of a “sacred versus secular” duality in life and since then he’s been on the adventure of living one life in Christ, with work as worship, business as ministry and life as mission.

    Mike grew up in Alaska, graduated from Trinity International University and the Loyola Graduate School of Business.  He married his bijou of an Iowa farmers daughter, Jacqui, in 2002 and they have 2 girls, Elayna and Sophia.