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GNCMy first book, which was published by Wiley Press in 2007, has made a sudden resurgence. On top of business consulting, I’ve been requested several times over the past few months to do a book signing, not just with Powered by Purpose, but to also bring The Brand Who Cried Wolf. It seems that as the business climate gets more challenging and competition gets fiercer, companies of all sizes are trying to figure out how to get their people on board and gain that competitive edge. So, I’ve decided to blog the opening of Chapter One from The Brand Who Cried Wolf. Read on and see if this book is for you!

Whether or not you work in management, accounting, manufacturing, customer service, sales, marketing, or any other department in an organization, you need to understand the difference between marketing, advertising, and branding. That’s because, regardless of what your job is, you build and sustain the brand, not marketing and not advertising. Once you understand how branding is a different animal from marketing and advertising, you’ll understand why this book is for you. You’ll see how important it is for you to be concerned about your company’s brand, and what your role is in creating and sustaining it.

Suppose you work in manufacturing, and your job is to sit at a station and assemble a product. Because you have absolutely no contact with the customer, and you’re not involved in marketing, you might think that your work has nothing to so with your employer’s brand. Therefore, you might mistakenly think this book isn’t for you. But consider the following scenario: Imagine that the product you manufacture has a flaw in it. It goes to the store, and the salesperson, who doesn’t know about the flaw, is busy selling it. She’s advocating on behalf of the product, which people know about because of the company’s wonderful advertising. From advertising to sales pitch, the brand promise has been made. What happens to the brand when the customer learns about the flaw? It tanks. You, as part of the manufacturing and brand building process, fell short. Because of this, in the mind of the customer, the advertising was false and the salesperson was dishonest. The brand is damaged.

Or suppose you work in accounting. You might also conclude that this book isn’t for you. After all, you’re “internal.” As such, you think you have nothing to do with the brand building process. But this is another mistaken conclusion. Imagine this scenario: A vendor calls asking for clarification on an invoice. You happen to be very busy that day. Because you don’t consider your role as important to the brand building process, you treat the call as an intrusion, as insignificant. In the mind of the vendor, however, you represent your company, and you are the brand. He tells friends and colleagues about his “negative” experience with your company, not with you. You’ve just damaged your company’s brand. This book will show you whatever it is you do, you impact your brand. So, it’s crucial that you learn about my new brand paradigm!

Professionals and laypersons alike often don’t properly distinguish between advertising, marketing, and branding. They think they are synonymous terms for a single function. The result, ultimately, is misapplication: people think they develop brands through advertising, or that their brand is simply the product or service for sale in the marketplace. This chapter is designed to dispel these mistaken ideas by defining what advertising, marketing, and branding are, and clarifying their relations to one another. By the end of this chapter, you’ll have a woking knowledge of each of these three concepts, both in their common usage and as I believe they should be understood. In Chapter 2, I’ll focus exclusively on defining the concept of branding in a way that has not previously been articulated.

Advertising as Awareness

Most people focus on advertising as the single most important feature of both branding and marketing. It’s understandable to think that advertising is the most important feature of a business’ brand, given the fact that most of us are bombarded with advertising. A good ad makes consumers aware of a product or service, but it also makes the item attractive in order to compel the consumer to seek it out. Advertisers have gone so far as to promote the idea that the product or service is so iconic it generates a culture—Coca-Cola’s “Coke is it”; Nike’s “Just do it”—to which the consumer should want to belong. But at the end of the day, the function of advertising is simply to create brand awareness and hopefully drive customers to your place of business. No matter how flashy, savvy, sophisticated, or manipulative an advertisement is, the best it can do is make consumers aware of a product or service, and possibly move them to investigate or even make a purchase. Convincing a customer to make a purchase, however, doesn’t mean you’ve created a brand. What it does is give you an opportunity to create and build a brand.

Interested? Pick up The Brand Who Cried Wolf, either on or right here on our website and learn more about emotional branding, marketing seminars, business consulting, and your company’s future.