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    1 Reply Latest reply on Apr 18, 2008 5:06 PM by Lighthouse24

    Ruling the world one brand at a time

    Iwrite Pioneer
      A few years ago, I went to work for a fortune 500 company in their internal advertising department (I don't think I've ever forgiven myself for that).

      The very first day, my new boss ask me to fill out a request for my business cards.

      I asked, "what title could I put on it?"

      He said, "whatever you want."

      Wrong answer to a creative.

      I submitted, "Ruler of the Known Universe." I thought it sounded right. Even my boss, who had been alerted to my plans, chuckled as he told me to aim a little lower.

      "You really don't want to rule the world anyway," he said.

      Looking him straight in the face, I said, "why do you think I got into advertising? We already rule the world. The world just hasn't realized how much power we have."

      He could see I wasn't joking. We went on to talk about branding and the power companies have but don't realize. About a week later he walked into my office, and said, "I talked to the senior VP of Marketing about our conversation - he wants to know what your plan is for ruling the world."

      Branding is not a logo or an ad or a website. It is none of the things you do to get your message out. Branding is pure, unadulterated power. It is an idea wrapped in an execution that touches people on some level and changes how they feel or think about a company or a product.

      Am I being over dramatic? No.

      Have I had one too many cups of coffee? Perhaps.

      I was reading an article about the protest about the Olympic torch and Tibet. Apparently, some shareholders of Coke wanted the company to "encourage" China not to take the torch through Tibet to reduce the risk of bloodshed. At first, I didn't see it, but then it hit me - Coke is more powerful than the United States is with China or at least their shareholders believe so. They actually believe that if Coke had told China not to go to Tibet with the Torch, China would have listened. Why would they believe this would have an impact unless they know how powerful the Coke brand is?

      Whether or not that is true about what they believe doesn't matter. I'm talking about how big a brand has become that people believe it has the pwoer to change a government's decision.

      We talk about brand like it is an execution, it isn't. It is an idea that when cultivated properly can grow into a powerful force. You cannot hold a brand, you don't eat a brand or ride in it. You really don't buy a brand, you buy a product or service. But when done correctly, you do believe in it.

      And what is more powerful than belief?

      Do you see your brand for what it is or what it could be? Do you see the real power your brand can wield and how it can impact your success? What is brand to you?

      I could be so wrong. Let's talk this out.
        • Re: Ruling the world one brand at a time
          Lighthouse24 Ranger

          There is a ton of sci-fi work with the premise of a world ruled by corporations rather than nations (with citizens pledging their allegiance to logos instead of flags).

          Maybe it's not that far off. Who used to provide the bulk of the funding for exploration and innovation that truly changed the world? Nations. Who provides the bulk of that funding today? Hint: If Columbus were sailing now, it would probably be aboard the Nina, Pinta, and Virgin Maria.

          Almost anything that a business is, makes, sells, or serves can be copied, made, sold, or served for less money by someone somewhere. A brand captures, represents, and promises to fulfill all the reasons a person would pay more for one company's product or service than they would for "generic" version, as well as all the reasons they would choose that company's product or service over other brands. Yes, a brand is a powerful thing.