The Brand That Cried Wolf

Brand That Cried WolfI’ve been spend a bit of time reading on the topic of branding. I just finished Scott Deming’s “The Brand That Cried Wolf”. Here are a few of the quotes and stories that I liked the most.

Advertising as Awareness (p. 8)

Marketing as a System of uniting Businesses and Customers (p. 9)

Branding is the Process of Creating Authentically Unique, Emotional Experiences That Yield Evangelists (p.10)

In truth, branding is the creation and support of a powerful perception image of someone or something based on a unique, emotional experiences – so powerful that the perception or image becomes a belief. Therefore, I argue that the formula for professional and personal success lies in our ability to create the most powerful, emotional, memorable brand based on these unique experiences. (p. 10)

Be careful what you promise. When you make a promise, you create expectations. When you exceed expectations, you create a brand. (p. 29)

When individuals and companies don’t deliver on their brand promise, they fail like the hare (Tortoise and the Hare) in the story you just read and the young shepherd  in “The Boy Who Cried Wolf”. I call these companies Wolf Brands, like the title story you read in the Introduction, because they make proclamations and promises that fall flat. In so doing, they fail to unite the two aspect of their brand just described. Not only do they not deliver on their brand promise, they fail to create or maintain uniqueness in their brand category. (p. 30)

Verizon Story (p. 67-69)

Ben & Jerry even wrote a book: Double Dip: Lead With Your Values And Make Money detailing, among other things, their belief that the finest business in the world will, in the future, be evaluated by their values, not their products or services. This make sense in a number of ways. For example, we know that products are getting better and better. By and large, everything from detergent to cell phones does it’s job. So what distinguishes one company from another? It’s not the product that becomes the differentiator, it’s the company, what it stands for, and how it treats is employees and citizens. In the case of Ben & Jerry’s these values largely define who they are. (p. 79)

Interestingly enough (according to the 2006 Retail Consumer Dissatisfaction Study, conducted by Verde Group and the Baker Retailing Initiative  at Worton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania), a sort of telephone game phenomenon occurs when people start talking about their negative experiences. As the stories spread, people who are not directly involved in the experience  hear embellished versions of the actual event. With anti-evangelism the ripples (as in a rock tossed into a pond, and the ripples that result) don’t get smaller as they move out away from the origin of the story; they get bigger! “Almost half of those surveyed, 48%, reported they have avoided a store in the past because of someone else’s experience.” Contrast that with the percentage of people who actually had the negative experience and reported they would not likely return to shop at the location again: 33 percent! These are numbers everyone should consider each and every time they have the opportunity to create a positively memorable experience. It’s especially important, given the fact that you typically  won’t have any idea that you’ve created an anit-evangelist. That’s because you count on your customers to report their negative experiences to you. And the fact is, they don’t. (p. 125-126)


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