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OSAF Branding Exercise

Summary Status of Branding project

For complete archive of Branding Project status, more details on the activities, and a full Branding Plan Schedule, see: Branding Project Status

Goals of branding exercise

  1. Create a memorable brand associated with our organization and products
    • Increase adoption of products through marketing campaigns reinforced by a memorable brand
  2. Create a brand that conveys inherited values among all the products
    • Leverage the success of one product to others
  3. Understand need for ecosystem component naming
    • Need handle on components (like Cosmo) that will be grabbed from outside the ecosystem. For example, a strong brand like Cheverolet can have many models within the brand.

What is branding? -- slide show

Perceived Total Offering: Differentiation Stack

To understand the role played by non-product factors. See PowerBranding? by Marty Brandt & Grant Johnson, p.11-12 In a customer's mind, the various non-product attributes, such as company experience, responsiveness, partnerships, alliances, service, and support, all influence how one vendor "stacks" up against another. Thus, one vendor's brand that is represented by much more than just the product can be perceived to offer a better "solution," even if the product alone is perceived at a competitive disadvantage.
  • Elements of Brand Strength
    1. Customer/Segment experience
    2. Company Responsiveness
    3. Service & Support
    4. Partnerships & Alliances
    5. Marketing programs
  • Basic Product Attributes
    1. Configuration/Pricing
    2. Features/Technology

Stages of branding exercise

Preparatory work

  1. Branding process plan - A milestone plan for the branding exercise with more detail in short-term deliverables, but extending out to Chandler Beta release and eventually to release 1.0.
  2. Branding preparation research slide show
  3. list products and services that require brands
  4. identify scope of branding
    • Organization
    • Products and services
    • Product UI
    • Name, tag line, descriptive text
    • Logo
    • Colors
    • Packaging
    • others
  5. figure out the relationship of the product/brands (family relationships)
  6. A trademark is the most powerful form of intellectual property because if you manage the trademark, you can keep it forever. Patents and copyrights have a time limit. With this in mind, be sure to do both a legal and linguistic screening of your brand name finalists.
    • Ecosystem component vs. platform use external to ecosystem, e.g. Cosmo as Foxmarks server, Chandler as a web-server.

Creative work

  1. ecosystem brand
  2. individual components brands vs. family/ecosystem brand with product names
  3. Positioning Statement (elevator pitch) see, OSAF suggestions at ElevatorPitch20060608 and PrototypePositioningStatements

Implementation work BrandingDeliverables

  1. final design
  2. usage guidelines
  3. implement throughout
    • Products
    • Documentation
    • websitess, wikis, blogs, maillists

Previous OSAF branding discussions

Relevant background reading

  1. Define your objectives. What questions need to be answered?
  2. Conduct qualitative and quantitative research.
  3. Define the brand — create the brand identity.
  4. Develop the brand strategy and communications plan.
  5. Execute an integrated marketing communications plan — use the brand identity.
  6. Manage the brand and track it to build brand equity.

Talk at Columbia Business School: "The Relationship of Brand Strategy and Stock Price", Chuck Pettis, Spring 2000 [A Power Point Presentation] this doesn't seem to render in Firefox, but works OK with IE Elements of Brand Strategy The major elements for measuring and building brand equity:

  • Brand identity: brand name, brand associations, messages, images, symbolism
  • Brand name awareness ·Perceived quality ·Brand extension potential
  • Brand loyalty/switching ·Proprietary brand assets (trademarks, patents, etc.)
A brand strategy is a plan to measurably improve each element of brand equity

What makes up a brand identity? A typical brand identity includes a brand name, positioning statement, category descriptor, organizational values, brand archetype, and the brand's key purchase factors with their tangible and emotional benefits (brand associations).

A good brand name gives a good first impression, is easy to remember, and evokes positive associations with the brand. The positioning statement tells, in one sentence, what business the company is in, what benefits it provides and why it is better than the competition. Imagine you're in an elevator and you have 30 seconds to answer the question, "What business are you in?" The category descriptor lets your customers know what "hook" to put your branding on in their mind. Linking your internal organizational values with your brand builds trust with your customers. Brand archetype and personality adds emotion, culture and myth to the brand identity by the use of a famous spokesperson (Bill Cosby - Jello), a character (the Pink Panther), an animal (the Merrill Lynch bull) or an image (You're in good hands with Allstate).

Brand associations are the attributes that customers think of when they hear or see the brand name. Ideally, you want customers to think of what they want from the brand (e.g., reliability and the benefits of reliability) and then associate that attribute with your brand name.

See funny video of Microsoft rebranding the iPod at: http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=36099539665548298

* http://www.brand.com/BrandNamingBlog.htm* An effective brand name will be appropriate for the category, memorable, and "available" as a trademark and domain name. Here are a few brand name strategies:

  • The shorter the name, the better. Example: Apple.
  • Keep the name simple. Use fewer letters of the alphabet by repeating letters. Example: Google.
  • Be suggestive of the category. Example: PlayStation?.
  • Use alliteration (the recurrence of the same letter and sound in accented parts of words). Example: Volvo. Note: a repeated sound is more effective and memorable than repeated letters.
  • Be easy to say and read (spoken as spelled). Test: do you have to spell the name over the phone?
  • Be shocking! Examples: Yahoo, Virgin.
  • Personalize the brand name. Example: Craigslist.org.
  • Avoid negative connotations. People often associate inappropriate ideas and things with names. Do market research to make sure that there are no negative connotations with your name.
  • Use a name, not an acronym (a word formed from the initial letters of a name). "Names" are 60% more memorable than an acronym. Comments from a recent BrandSolutions? survey on acronyms: I do not like names with abbreviations in them. I prefer the name written out, rather than an acronym. I like names that are not abbreviated. They are simpler to understand.

The brand name is usually the most emotional component of brand identity. I advise clients not to get too attached to any one name during the brand naming process because trademark and domain name conflicts will probably eliminate most potential brand name candidates. Testing of the final names is essential to find the name that is most compelling and credible to customers

Study: New Brand Names Not Making Their Mark BRANDWEEK Magazine, December 8, 2003

With 80,000 words in the dictionary and more than 280,000 U.S. trademark applications a year, no wonder it is difficult to come up with a meaningful brand name for anything.

Many companies and organizations think that once you get a new brand name, then the "brand" problem is solved. Brand names are taken very seriously and emotionally inside the organization, yet once a "name" becomes a "brand name," the impact of the brand name on brand equity is much less than the associated purchase factors and imagery. That is why major companies like Microsoft are prohibiting new brand names unless absolutely necessary. The current trend is to use the company name as the "brand name" followed by a generic category descriptor, e.g. Microsoft Customer Relationship Management software.

Call It Viagra The Wall Street Journal, April 9, 2004 Wordcraft: The Art of Turning Little Words into Big Business by Alex Frankel (Crown, 241 pages, $24) gives an inside-look into the brand naming process for five brand names: BlackBerry?, Accenture, Viagra, the Porsche Cayenne, and IBM's e-business. Mr. Frankel, a journalist in San Francisco, researched the topic after being a "naming consultant" for companies during the dot-com boom. Wordcraft is a look into the different and various ways that companies and products are named.

  • Frankel interview

Battle Cry Equals Brand Success Advertising Age Magazine, November 17, 2003 There is a myth that the right short catchphrase can help capture customers and motivate employees. For example, "Information at your Fingertips" and "Your Potential. Our Passion." help explain Microsoft's product development strategy. Seeing taglines and slogans from companies like Microsoft and Nike ("Just Do It") motivates other companies and organizations to want a tagline or "battle cry." And many companies are more than happy to oblige by creating one for them.

Here's the problem. Most companies and organizations do not have the creative talent to devise an effective short and "sticky" catch phrase. They also do not have the communications program to promote and advertise the tagline or slogan enough so that it is actually remembered and associated with the brand. Research proves that most people are unable to identify even the most familiar slogans. Therefore, with few exceptions, BrandSolutions? considers the creation of a slogan or tagline a waste of time and money.

  • inductive_model_of_reputation_building_on_the_internet.png:


  • Kellogg on Marketing edited by Dawn Iacobucci and
  • Kellogg on Integrated Marketing co-edited by David Dranove and Sonia Marciano. Also recommend are the
  • Harvard Business Review on Brand Management,
  • Alina Wheeler's Designing Brand Identity,
  • William J.McEwen's Married to the Brand,
  • Marty Neumeir's The Brand Gap,
  • Martin Lindstrom's Brand Sense,
  • David A. Aaker's Building Strong Brands as well as Brand Portfolio Strategy,
  • Bill Schley and Carl Nichols Jr.'s Why Johnny Can't Brand,
  • Scott Bedbury and Stephen Fenichell's A New Brand World,
  • Kevin Lane Keller's Strategic Brand Management (Second Edition),
  • Alex Wipperfurth's Brand Hijack, and
  • Douglas B. Holt's How Brands Become Icons.

Branding books that will be available in the OSAF "library."

  1. The 22 Immutable Laws of Branding: How to Build a Product or Service into a World-Class Brand - Laura Ries; Hardcover
  2. Technobrands: How to Create & Use "Brand Identity" to Market, Advertise & Sell Technology Products - Chuck Pettis; Hardcover
  3. PowerBranding by Marty Brandt and Grant Johnson
  4. Designing Brand Identity : A Complete Guide to Creating, Building, and Maintaining Strong Brands - Alina Wheeler; Hardcover
  5. Kellogg on Branding : The Marketing Faculty of The Kellogg School of Management - Philip Kotler; Hardcover
  6. Brand Portfolio Strategy : Creating Relevance, Differentiation, Energy, Leverage, and Clarity - David A. Aaker; Hardcover
  7. Managing Brand Equity - David A. Aaker; Hardcover
  8. Wordcraft : The Art of Turning Little Words into Big Business - Alex Frankel; Paperback
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