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Branding Rule: Explore Co-Branding Opportunities

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 is advice from SHIFT Communications CEO Todd Defren:

Branding Rule - We The Brand

Todd Defren focuses on conversations but suggests that businesses need to do more than listen and respond. He suggests successful branding is about working with customers in an atmosphere of collaboration:

Branding that does not ring true to consumer is inevitably unsuccessful. Successful branding is about cooperating with customers to co-create and co-communicate the vision, message and practices of the corporation.

For the first time in history, corporations of all sizes can actively engage with their customers in grand acts of co-creation. We’ve moved from online suggestion boxes such as the ballyhooed ‘My Starbucks Idea’ to much more sophisticated examples of brands tapping their audiences for ideas on product development, customer service and even campaigns.

Branding is no different. What is ‘branding’ but the nebulous feeling consumers hold about a company?  What better way could there be to ensure that consumers become advocates than to give them a meaningful role in how their preferred brands communicate and go to market? If I could impart just one piece of advice on branding, it would be to consider 2014 an opportunity for marketers to explore co-branding opportunities.

True branding takes years to take root. Those companies that can figure out ways to partner with their customers today will be the marketing leads of tomorrow.

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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