A Final Word on Branding

By Naseem Javed Founder, ABC Namebank International | May 19, 2010

Roy Disney said, "You need branding when your product has nothing to offer." Roy's uncle, Walt, invented Mickey Mouse and created the Disney empire. At the time, the word "branding" was reserved only for cowboys branding herds of cattle by the fiery iron.

The word "branding" is dangerously overused. Many people use branding as a cure for all kinds of problems in all kinds of businesses. To lay claim to a deeper understanding of this elementary word, branding agencies all over the world have developed some cute variations of it, from "emotional branding" to "primal," "sensory," "musical," "internal," "external," "holistic," "vertical," "abstract," "nervous" and all the way to "invisible" branding. However, to see these distinctions, you will need special 3D spectacles.

The list of branding types is almost like the three MIT wizards who took an academic conference for a ride by submitting a paper in all fake jargon: "Rooter: A Methodology for the Typical Unification of Access Points and Redundancy." Their paper was accepted.

Haphazard Branding

There are hundreds of such branding terms pointing to the same thing. Let's analyze and see how this historical process of branding ownership marks on animals got transformed into a word circus, bending the state of mind among corporations, institutions and many governments.

Branding is often presented as a culturally, emotional or lifestyle crazy, sugarcoated packaging process. Sometimes it is like rap music, with spinning colors or psychedelic pastel overtones accompanied with hip-hop idea drivers. Other times it comes with esoteric concepts to camouflage the products or services just long enough to get the customers' attention. Most of the time, it comes as juicy ideas under some new blanket term of branding that is designed to create a safe and secure feeling for the corporation while waiting for the thunder from the charge of anxious customers.

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Food & Beverage: Millennials Rule

The Millennial Generation has surpassed the Baby Boomers to become the largest living generation in America, and their tastes and preferences are being reflected in the Food & Beverage industry. In general, Millennials insist on more natural, healthier, less-processed food and beverage sources, and in part, this inspired the farm-to-table movement. However, now the trend is becoming even more pronounced and hyper-local. Millennials no longer simply want to know their food is farm-to-table, they want to know which farm, and where it's located relative to the community. As a result, hotel F&B directors are redesigning entire menus to feature area brewers, wineries, and family farms. Not only is this a proven way to satisfy Millennial tastes but it also opens the door for hotel guests to enjoy immersive experiences such as tours and excursions to local farms and breweries. Also, thanks in no small part to Millennials, coffee consumption is at an all-time high. In response, F&B directors are creating innovative ways to enhance the coffee experience for guests. Nitro-brewed coffee, cold brew, lattes on draft, and the introduction of unique milk options are part of this trend, as are locally sourced coffee beans where available. Millennial influences can also be found in the Craft and Artisan Cocktail movement where the same preferences for locally sourced and high-quality ingredients apply. One leading hotel even offers a drink menu featuring liquors infused with herbs recommended by experts for their health and well-being benefits. The August issue of the Hotel Business Review will document the trends and challenges in the food and beverage sector, and report on what some leading hotels are doing to enhance this area of their business.