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GUEST COMMENTARY: Become A Branding Superhero And Make Your Brand Soar

In this second 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.”


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 second 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 first article in the series, click here.


SECRET No. 1:  Like Location, Positioning Is Everything
The first secret of branding is building a solid POSITION. Positioning creates perceptions about your company – with your target audience, and with the people and companies who influence them.
Your company’s position is a structure that needs to be created with great care and deliberation, just as a builder erects a house. Like any well-crafted dwelling, it needs a foundation, support and superstructures.
The foundation of your company’s position – the base upon which all else rests – is its core values. These can include such things as honesty and trust, or excellence and unflinching self-examination. Or, they might be oriented toward your customer and expressed as dedication, flexibility and empathy. Take the time to uncover your company’s core values, and you’ll have a solid base to build on.
You company’s rebar and girders, so to speak, are your brand pillars: the most important attributes and principles that you want your brand to communicate. Are you faster than a speeding bullet (at delivering products)? More powerful than a locomotive (in customer responsiveness)? Able to fill tall orders in a single bound? These attributes support your brand.
Your company’s superstructure is composed of several things. First is your mission statement – basically a summation of your company’s purpose. You might be dedicated to supplying the most complete product line in your niche, or to developing leading-edge technology. Perhaps you strive to give the best customer service on the planet, or to manufacture products with no comebacks.
This brings us to your USP (Unique Selling Proposition), the things that make your brand or products stand out from the competition. These might be likened to a superhero’s powers, and ideally, arise out of your corporate mission. Are you a super marketer? Do you have X-ray vision into consumer demand? Maybe your products are the most sophisticated, cost-effective or installation-friendly in the galaxy. That’s your USP.
Finally, you need to communicate all these attributes, via your Key Messages. These sum up what you want your audience to take away about your company and its products or services. It’s tempting to try to communicate everything at once about your company or product, but that’s more than your audience can absorb. The key is to keep the messages brief, powerful and on target.
Next time: Four more secrets to supersizing your brand.



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