On Branding: Just What Is Good Branding Today?

In March I attended an invitee-only seminar on branding at George Washington University in Washington. The speaker was Dr. Kevin Lane Keller, the E.B. Osborn professor of Marketing at the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth College. Dr. Keller is also a consultant on branding for many of the Fortune 500 and is author of the two best selling books on branding ever sold.

Every year I attend seminars on branding outside of the credit union world to keep up with consumer preferences. Good marketing is seeing what others do and adapting these ideas to work for you.

Following are 10 of the 28 points Dr. Keller outlined during his two-hour presentation with Q&A:

* Great brands are in the mind and the heart-and are created out of opportunities!

* Good branding connects people to you. You must be distinctive and stand-out.

* Your branding efforts must be focused on getting your targets to think of you often, be imaginative, attract new members and retain current ones.

* Smart brands have a foot in the present and a foot in the future!

* Branding is about creating mental associations tied to your brand through your marketing, sales, public relations and business development processes.

* You must move your brand forward or you become complacent and your relevancy declines to your members.

* Integration of your brand is critical; you must adopt a 360-degree view for consumers, and every brand contact/touchpoint matters.

* Always think how to communicate the values you provide first and foremost.

* Is your brand relevant for "today's" marketplace and consumer...your business model should not be based on the past but instead where do you need to go!

* Brands are really like a three-act play -the key is to never see the final act!

Act I: Creation

Act II: Growth

Act III: Death-or becoming non-relevant, a ghost brand!

Paul Lucas in a marketing consultant specializing in credit union. For infor: www.pauljlucan.com.