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Branding is valuable for every type of company but branding projects can carry a lot of unnecessary baggage, according to MDM President Ian Heller in How To Develop Branding Strategy.
One of these pitfalls is focusing branding around idealistic phrases that really don’t meaning anything – instead of focusing on why customers will benefit from your value proposition.
"Be careful about communicating very lofty ideals in your branding," writes Heller. "Creative professionals of all kinds (including agencies) love to create 'aspirational' messages."
It can often seem like every other company is trying “to make the world a better place.” But the end result is often something incomprehensible that does nothing to explain what the company actually does or how customers might benefit.
And this happens in many industries. Heller uses the example of Old Dominion, a publicly-held, LTL freight carrier with the slogan “Helping the World Keep Promises.®”
"This is truly 'aspirational,' I suppose," says Heller. "But it doesn’t help anyone understand what the company does – let alone whether or not a customer should learn about them. If I was at a cocktail party and an executive told me his company 'helped the world keep promises,' I’d ask him how he liked working in the collections agency business."
Communicating a concise slogan that explains your benefits is easier said than done but a clear and direct message will answer more customer questions at a glance than any 'aspirational' message ever could.
Read more tips for successful branding in How To Develop Branding Strategy.