When 'Brand Identity' Fails to Reflect the Brand
When Peggy and I started WHO'S MAILING WHAT!, we didn't have a brand. Nine years later—after proving ourselves in the marketplace—we had a well-respected and unique brand we were able to sell to Target Marketing.
Only after months and years in the world of commerce does a product or service achieve brand status.
"What's your brand?" asked Al Ries in an AdAge.com column. "If you can't answer that question about your own brand in two or three words, your brand's in trouble. That's what differentiates a Hilton from a Hyatt, a Marriott, an Omni."
Eventually, with acceptance, the product or service becomes differentiated in the minds of consumers and/or businesspeople. It acquires brand. The brand is the USP—unique selling proposition—the thing that makes it different (and beloved) from all others in the field.
Once established, a brand is hugely valuable and should be protected at all costs—not scrapped and given a "new brand identity."
The idea of giving good ol' Wendy's and Arby's "new brand identities" is preposterous. How could the rubes that run Wendy's/Arby's fall for such Madison Ave.-MBA BS?