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Guest Commentary: Become A Branding Superhero And Make Your Brand Soar

In this third installment of a five-part series, The Marx Group’s founder and chief strategist Tom Marx looks at the keys of “Power Branding: Five Secrets to a Knockout Bottom Line.”

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Tom Marx speaks to the heart of effective business growth management - from the viewpoint of expert strategic marketing. As Chief Strategist and Head of Client Services for The Marx Group, his knowledge of business-to-business and consumer marketing and advertising spans more than 25 years. Tom brings a depth of marketing expertise from many industries, including automotive and heavy-duty parts and services, motorsports, computer hardware and software, telecommunications, broadcast, real estate, financial services, and resort property management. His background includes owning a Porsche service center, driving race cars and personally building competitive engines and building chassis. He is also an active participant in many organizations, including: AAIA Marketing & Member Relations Committee, Automotive Communications Council (ACC), Automotive Aftermarket Industry Association (AAIA), Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA), Performance Warehouse Association (PWA), Automotive Warehouse Distributors Association (AWDA), Automotive Parts Rebuilders Association (APRA), Heavy Duty Manufacturers Association (HDMA), Motor and Equipment Manufacturers Association (MEMA) and Automotive Aftermarket Suppliers Association (AASA).

In this third installment of a five-part series, The Marx Group’s founder and chief strategist Tom Marx looks at the keys of "Power Branding: Five Secrets to a Knockout Bottom Line." To read the previous two articles in the series, click here and here.

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Power Branding: Five Secrets To A Knockout Bottom Line

SECRET No. 2: Let the Forces Be With You!

Now we’d like to introduce you to four other forces that back up your position and propel your company over the top. The second force of branding is the PROMISE you make to your customers. Every time you communicate, you’re making either overt or implicit pledges – not only in advertising copy, but in everything from package design to taglines. One reason people believe in superheroes is because they know exactly what to expect from them. What are your company’s promises to its customers?

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Make sure your promises are relevant to your audience. For example, if you manufacture low-cost parts for high-volume service shops, you don’t want to be looking slick and promising advanced engineering. More importantly, make sure you can keep your vows. Nothing will drive customers away faster than broken promises. Make sure yours are realistic and desirable to your audience.

The third branding force is PERSONALITY. Every company has a personality, a face and voice that they present to the world. You don’t expect Clark Kent to behave like Superman or vice versa. Make sure your company’s personality is consistent, and don’t undermine it unintentionally with your actions.

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The fourth force is STORY. A story (how you got here, where you’re headed) gives your company dimension and context, and sets the stage for what you want to communicate. A cartoonist can drop a few frames onto a page and make a big impact because everyone already knows the backstory. A company can do the same thing. Having a well-integrated story that arises from your core values will make people want to believe in you.

Finally, we come to ELEMENTS. Brand elements are like the superhero’s costume; they present a complete, recognizable, and hopefully, consistent picture of your brand wherever you go. Brand elements include your logo, icon and tagline, corporate colors and all those marketing tactics in your toolkit, from website to signs, to collateral, news releases, packaging and everything else that is face-forward to your audience. These elements must be functional, look good together and have consistency. If your company has different divisions with different audiences, the divisions might have different logos, different colors and utilize different media, but they should all have a family feel. Superman may have a different face, hair and stature than Supergirl and Superboy, but you can tell they’re related by the consistency of their presentation.

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Next time: Equity, your brand’s superpower!

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