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Brands & Branding Strategy

Does Your Brand Sound as Good as it Looks?

We preen in front of a mirror every morning and adjust our physical appearance, but when was the last time we checked how we sound? The same is true of brands. Brand managers spend vast amounts of time thinking about what should be communicated through the visual identity, but typically very little time considering how […]

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Better Brand Mapping Strategy

About a year ago, I read a great book by Niraj Dawar, Professor at the Ivey Business School, Canada and a renowned marketing strategy expert. The book was Tilt: Shifting Your Strategy from Products to Customers. In Tilt, Professor Dawar argued that, over time, sustainable competitive advantages would be found not in the technical superiority […]

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Can You Create a Cult Brand?

Reproduced is a portion from a 23 July, 2014 article by Leesa Smith in Mail Online – “Fights, armed hold-ups, customers sleeping overnight and thousands of dollars in parking fines – it’s just another day at Australia’s newest Krispy Kreme donut franchise. Police have been called to the outlet more than 20 times since the […]

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How to Differentiate Your Brand

“In real estate, it’s location, location, location. In business, it’s differentiate, differentiate, differentiate.” Roberto Goizueta, former Chairman of Coca-Cola. The most challenging task for any marketer is to figure out how to differentiate his or her brand vis-à-vis competition. BlueBarn has a number of posts on this very important subject; however, since differentiation is the […]

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50 Ways to Differentiate Your Brand

The greatest challenge that people in marketing and advertising face is to differentiate their brand vis-à-vis competition. Most product categories are getting inundated with brands – the result is that many of the categories are getting commoditised with very little difference between brands. I will try and cover differentiation in detail in the near future. […]

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31 Brands That Are Now Used Generically

There are many products that we use without realising that they were either brand names once or still are. I remember that most Indian housewives used Dalda as a surrogate for all hydrogenated vegetable oils. I am sure that many of you would be amazed if I were to tell you that Zipper and Escalator […]

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The Rules of Branding

I have a lot of respect for Al Ries and Jack Trout. They are the two marketing and branding strategists who, over the years, have propounded extremely simple ideas and advice on marketing, branding and advertising. They did not write research-backed tomes but, on reading any of their books, one knew that they were talking […]

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Who’s Driving the Luxury Market?

Since 2005, I have met a number of designers and executives from luxury brand companies. A few years ago, they were all very gung ho about India; however, since then, I have noticed a discernible cooling down of their enthusiasm. And the reasons: The Indian custom duty on imported luxury goods is very high at […]

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Are Brand Managers in Danger of Losing Control of Their Brands?

This morning, a post was forwarded by a friend to my Facebook page; it was from a Vijeth Shetty who has created a page entitled ‘Agarwal Non-Movers.’ On this page, he has launched a scathing attack on Agarwal Movers & Packers for screwing up the transfer of his household goods and for not responding to […]

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Learning from Brand Failures

“Failure is the key to success; each mistake teaches us something.” Morihei Ueshiba. A few days ago, we had posted an article entitled ‘What Were They Thinking?” In that post, we had covered some of the lessons that Robert McMath had uncovered from his study of brand failures in the U.S.  McMath ran (I am […]

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