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Branding Rule: Stop Sending, Start Listening

2014 Branding Rules eBookThis post is an excerpt of our Branding Rules eBook.

Branding means so many things to different people that it has become nebulous. It’s called the “secret sauce” of marketing, but what does that mean?

“Secret sauce” might mean sriracha to some, Tabasco to others, or the intangible and often unidentifiable ingredient that we all seek and/or covet.

We cleared the confusion by gathering 14 branding experts and asked them a question: “If you could impart only one piece of advice about branding, what would it be?”

We compiled the results, added illustrations by Gapingvoid’s Hugh MacLeod, and created the 2014 Branding Rules eBook to provide a resource filled with timeless advice to guide your business’s branding efforts.

Here’s advice from Shel Israel, the co-author of “Age of Context“:

Shel Israel - Branding Rule

Branding began as a mark you put on the back end of a steer to show ownership. It has supposedly evolved so that it is now about how customers and prospects feel about a particular company product or service. For many years, this was supposed to happen by brand marketers sending out messages to customers. These messages have become more intrusive and less effective in the Information Era.

But with the converging forces of mobile, social media, data and location, brands are being shaped by online conversations. Peers impact how people feel about a company more than messages. These days, the conversation has more impact than the media insertion.

My advice to modern marketers is simple: stop sending out messages that are best suited to be emblazoned on steer butts and start listening and responding to what people say about you in online conversations.

Want more branding advice? Get your free copy of the Branding Rules eBook now!

About Brian Conlin

Brian Conlin is a content marketing manager for Cision. A former journalist, he enjoys researching and developing accessible content. When not writing, you will find him watching baseball and college basketball, sampling craft beer and enjoying Baltimore. Find him on Twitter @BrianConlin13.

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