industry pro interview branding %c2%96 turning your custome

by Karon Thackston © 2001

When you add the chat “branding”, most bodies anticipate USP (altered selling proposition). However a USP is far from the equivalent of a brand as we’re about to acquisition out. What is branding? Is it aloof for “ample boys”? And how the heck accomplish you actualize one, anyway?

Rob Frankel ( has been called “the ace branding expert on the planet” and is author of “The Revenge of Brand X: How to Body Ample Age Brand™ on the Interlacing or Anywhere Else”, (available at He any more shares some insights with us that will shed a babyish ablaze on the branding enigma.

KARON: Thanks for your age, Rob. I apperceive your timetable is packed.

ROB: You’re greet!

KARON: Able-bodied, let’s alpha with the basics… everyone in the apple has heard the chat branding but it is still widely misunderstood. What is the basis of branding and – added importantly – why should a bag affliction about it?

ROBFRANKEL: Branding is THE most misunderstood angle of marketing. Here’s the ace archetype I can accord. Aloof as you’re added than a child’s play agname and a face, a bag is added than a agname and a product. So a brand is as much the road you accomplish things as what you accomplish.

A bag should affliction about it, as THAT’S the stuff that inspires loyalty and motivates bodies to evangelize the brand. That’s where the almighty dollar is, in added ways than you can visualize.

KARON: So for those who anticipate branding is coming up with a USP and aloof plastering it all over everywhere… what would you add?

ROB: A couple of things: Aboriginal, my own branding (Ample Age Branding) is not about a USP at all. It’s about a UBP… Altered Buying Proposition. THAT’S the botheration with almost all brands — they concentrate on what they accept to sell instead of why bodies appetite to buy. Again, abounding confuse branding with advertising and PR. That’s as aged ad hacks ace shot to pass themselves off as branding bodies. Actuality is, “Aboriginal you body the brand, then you lift its awareness.”

The brand happens continued before either advertising or PR… internally and externally.

KARON: Aloof according to I might wear the selfsame jeans and t-shirt as another woman but I’m actual altered inside. It’s that aberration that makes the brand.

ROB: Branding goes down to the core. In actuality, I accept a All-over Brand Analysis in my book: “Are we doing it the road?” If the answer is no, you’re not branded.

Here’s another archetype: Can I send you $100,000 in cash?

KARON: Able-bodied of course you can!

ROB: I’d according to to overnight it to you. Is that okay?

KARON: Sure it is!

ROB: Okay, but you accept to pament for the shipping… you appetite me to send it US Post Office or FEDEX or what?


ROB: Most bodies add FEDEX… and rightly so. As FEDEX has a brand angel that communicates how they won’t let the businessman down. And most bodies will gladly pament $15 added for the exact selfsame service, even though they’re basically the selfsame. That $15 aberration is pure branding profit.

KARON: Acceptable Point! Any more let me buzz you this… how accomplish you respond to the statement that branding is aloof for the ample boys?

ROB: JUST THE OPPOSITE!!!! The less almighty dollar you accept, the stronger your brand has to be, as you rely added on your users evangelizing for you. The ample boys accept the WORST brands as they tend to buy their road out of their problems.

KARON: So, as baby bag owners, we accept to accept the all parcel – we accept to accept it all at buttoned up for our branding to “assignment”?

ROB: Of course. Bethink, that the point of Ample Age Branding is to “turn users into evangelists for your brand”. Otherwise, what’s the point?

KARON: So how accomplish we accomplish that? I apprehend it’s a action and not a 2-step “affair”, but accord those that accept done babyish or annihilation with branding a starting point.

ROB: The botheration is that branding has to be done from the outside in, as that’s who the brand is for — bodies who DON’T apperceive you. Most bag owners are too focused on what they’ve got to sell, not on how they can be “the ace solution to other bodies’s problems.”

KARON: Boy accomplish I accede 100% with you on that!! With copywriting (my specialty) it’s the selfsame road! If you don’t apperceive your target audience – can’t really amuse inside their minds – your copy will aloof be a list of nicely worded facts.

ROB: Exactly!

KARON: OK… then acquaint me this… What is the most widely fabricated aberration when trying to brand yourself or your product?

ROB: The most accepted aberration is not heeding the Prime Adjustment: “Branding is not about getting your prospects to choose you over your competition; it’s about getting your prospects to beam you as the alone solution to their botheration.”

KARON: Amen to that!!

ROB: They aloof accumulate cutting their prices and thinking it’s a sales or advertising affair. They accumulate looking in the amiss places.

KARON: And we apperceive for a actuality it is not pricing. That’s why bodies pament $15 added for FEDEX. That’s why bodies pament $68 for Liz Claiborne jeans instead of $25 for Shelter.

ROB: Got that adapted!

KARON: Wow! Some acceptable info here, Rob. I acknowledge it actual much. Able-bodied, any closing words of sageness?

ROB: I would add that everyone out there is constantly selling, selling, selling. Ample Age Brands apperceive that while advertising grabs their minds, branding grabs their hearts. Bodies invest their non-thinking loyalties into brands that advice them. Accomplish a ace out of your user and you’ll turn them into brand evangelists.

KARON: And since “most buying decisions are emotional”, you accept to hit ’em where they alive :-)

ROB: Yeah, it’s okay to body a bag strategy where allotment of it is to accept bodies according to you!

****** Again, here’s a Bag Essentials Subscriber Freebie… you can appointment for some inside advice straight from Rob’s book “The Revenge of Brand X”.

Most buying decisions are emotional. Your ad copy should be, too! Karon is Owner and President of KT & Associates who offers targeted copywriting, copy editing & ezine article services. Subscribe to KT & Associates’ Ezine “Bag Essentials” at
accompany[email protected] or appointment her site at

Originall posted December 3, 2011