A Brand to Die For

I am often asked, “What does it take to create a successful marketing campaign?” The reality, at the heart of it all, is the client’s brand essence; how that brand is represented and how to and perceived by the market. All successful marketing and advertising strategies spring forth from this basic tenet – brand essence.

What qualities does the brand stand for? What can the brand do for me, as a consumer, or member? How can the brand enrich my life or otherwise provide me value?

These are some of the questions that consumers silently ask themselves as they interact with the messages and touchpoints that are related to your brand.

But what does it take to create a brand that people identify with, support or spend their money on? How does one create a brand…well, to die for?

As a Social Intelligence Architect, I must continually hone my skills for the benefit of my clients. This means always advancing my understanding of social and communication dynamics. As a result, I can create effective messaging scenarios derived from a strong brand essence. The result is targeted traffic and ultimately sales, for my clients.

The agencies that represent entities like Nike, Target, Dell, Microsoft and countless others understand social and communication dynamics and deliver prime examples of successful brands. But other brands which you probably wouldn’t even consider (yet are perhaps even more influential), can illustrate the power that a brand can hold and deliver within a given marketplace.

The Most Powerful Brands You Would Never Think Of

You wouldn’t normally think of the Hell’s Angels, the Latin Kings or the Mexican Mafia as “brands,” but they most certainly are. In fact, these brands exhibit some of the strictest brand management strategies in existence and it’s paid-off for these entities in event the most turbulent of times.

The Hell’s Angels, for example, are a legitimate California business entity known as the Hells Angels Motorcycle Corporation (HAMC); replete with corporate bylaws and yes, a very well-known brand. HAMC, in the past has brought suit against market giants like the Walt Disney World Company over infringement of their brand. HAMC is very strict – even with their own members – as to how the HAMC logo and related, accompanying patches are to be arranged and displayed. Simply to be allowed to don the coveted official leather vest with logo is even an arduous process that only a select few are offered. And even then, the HAMC logo and patches must be worn in adherence with the corporate guidelines.

The Latin Kings brand is a gold colored 5-point crown on a black background. The 5-points and the black and gold colors all signify specific attributes about the brand (its essence). The 5-points, indeed, represent love, respect, sacrifice, honor, and obedience. Gold represents the sun and a bright future, while the black represents the past.

The Mexican Mafia’s brand is an open hand with the letter inside the palm. The M, of course, signifies the Mexican Mafia and is its established moniker; known and respected the world over.

Each of these organizations has developed a fierce following from both “internal” members and “external” admirers. Each has a brand management system (and a related code of conduct) which ensures their members utilize and represent the brands in only the ways specified by the entities themselves. Deviation from these brand management and conduct guidelines can result in death.

Truly, these are brands that people die for. But why?

In no way am I condoning gangland-style tactics or illicit activities, nor am I suggesting the use of violence, fear, or intimidation in your customer loyalty programs and brand acceptance strategies.

All sociological arguments aside, there remains an interestingly powerful component to these brands. Never mind that inculcated members have replaced their allegiances to God, country and family with allegiance to the brand and all that it encompasses. The real take-away from this striking analogy is the weight that each of these brands carry to those who are not gang members, but yearn to be.

The answer to creating a brand that people identify with, support or spend their money on is born out of a necessity that it helps to fulfill. In the case of these gang examples, their brands evolved to represent solutions to their “consumers’” needs; the need to be accepted, the need to have shelter, the need for protection, etc…

SEO Spiderz

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Why Automotive Logos Differ From Country to Country

The fact that automotive logos differ from country to country is true it’s not only the automotive logos that differ. This phenomenon is happening due to a lot of factors not only for identification on the production lines to know which car is for which country.As the same model cars differ in specs for different countries, and gets marketed under a different name. Why do the specs differ from country to country? There are a lot of reasons and a lot of petrol heads don’t believe this.This was a big discussion in my workshops already when imported cars came in for repairs in the past. When you inform the customer you can’t work on his car due to the fact it was imported into this country. Normally he will tell you it is only the automotive logos that differ because that was what the salesman informed him.If the software differs on a car your diagnostic tool don’t even enter the cars software, to do a diagnostic on the car. The next thing you need is a spare and it is not available in your country. That is normally the point the customer starts to realize it is not only the automotive logos that differ on the car it’s a lot more and the salesman lied to him.That is the point the owner of this car wants to know how it works.• Firstly the automotive software on the car will differ for various reasons; different countries have different driving conditions. This means temperatures, altitudes, fuel mixtures and even the drivers and driving styles.• The whole setup for the country you are in must be build into the car in the factory. For instance your specs on cars differ from the northern hemisphere to those in the southern hemisphere.• Your country authorities lied down all the specs for cars that can be driven in your country so that gets specially built into the car. In South Africa all vehicles that get imported into the country must have an approved number issued by the C.S.I.R our quality controlling board.• If you have a manufacturer of a car in your country or a register importer they will be the only ones that will get cars with the right specs for your country. Because they have the distribution rights in that country and they must be protected. This is not only for cars it work the same on all products.• In South Africa if they found any product in the country that doesn’t adhere to the laid down spec’s it gets destroyed.• So if a car’s automotive logos differ from the rest it is easy for the authorities to spot it.That is why automotive logos do differ all over the world in one country a car goes under a name. In another under a different name even if the look the same, and came from the same production line.