Tip: Be Wary of Communicating Lofty Ideas with Branding - Modern Distribution Management

Log In

Tip: Be Wary of Communicating Lofty Ideas with Branding

Focus slogans on how you help customers not on vague but meaningless ideals

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.


Share this article

About the Author
Recommended Reading
Leave a Reply

Leave a Comment

Sign Up for the MDM Update Newsletter

The MDM update newsletter is your best source for news and trends in the wholesale distribution industry.

Get the MDM Update Newsletter

Wholesale distribution news and trends delivered right to your inbox.

Sign-up for our free newsletter and get:

  • Up-to-date news in a quick-to-read format
  • Free access to webcasts, podcasts and live events
  • Exclusive whitepapers, research and reports
  • And more!


articles left

Want more Premium content from MDM?

Subscribe today and get:

  • New issues twice each month
  • Unlimited access to mdm.com, including 10+ years of archived data
  • Current trends analysis, market data and economic updates
  • Discounts on select store products and events

Subscribe to continue reading

MDM Premium Subscribers get:

  • Unlimited access to MDM.com
  • 1 year digital subscription, with new issues twice a month
  • Trends analysis, market data and quarterly economic updates
  • Deals on select store products and events



You have one free article remaining

Subscribe to MDM Premium to get unlimited access. Your subscription includes:

  • Two new issues a month
  • Access to 10+ years of archived data on mdm.com
  • Quarterly economic updates, trends analysis and market data
  • Store and event discounts

To continue reading, you must be an MDM Premium subscriber.

Join other distribution executives who use MDM Premium to optimize their business. Our insights and analysis help you enter the right new markets, turbocharge your sales and marketing efforts, identify business partners that help you scale, and stay ahead of your competitors.

Register for full access

By providing your email, you agree to receive announcements from us and our partners for our newsletter, events, surveys, and partner resources per MDM Terms & Conditions. You can withdraw consent at any time.

Learn More about Custom Reports

Request a Market Prospector Demo

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.