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Marketing Matters: Simplify the Message to Create a Stronger Brand

By: Alisa Marie Beyer
Posted: February 27, 2009, from the March 2009 issue of GCI Magazine.

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3. Embrace a minimalist view.

A minimalist brand has what is necessary and not much else. Its inherent simplicity means it is easy to understand. Don’t tell the brand’s whole life story, just the relevant, memorable parts—the parts consumers will relate to emotionally.

4. Evaluate the commitments.

Look at everything you’ve got going on with your brand—all the messages, the looks, the images, the sponsorships, the spokespeople, the products, the line extensions, the target buyer, the product name and so forth. Which of these really gives value? Which ones are in line with the important things you listed above? Drop those things that aren’t in line.

5. Evaluate the time.

How does your brand spend its day? What is the brand aligned with? Make a list and evaluate whether it’s in line with your priorities. If not, eliminate the things that aren’t, and focus on what’s important. Redesign your brand. Don’t make your brand everything to everyone. Don’t sponsor Sundance when your consumer is more of a Golden Globe gal.

6. Learn to say no.

If you can’t say no, you then inevitably take on too much and put your brand in places where it’s not relevant. For example, don’t expand distribution into a door that doesn’t match the personality of your brand; it will only add confusion.

7. Purge your brand.

Get rid of old, irrelvant ideas and cut the excess. Does your sales staff wear outdated brand apparel? Is your trade show booth from the ᾽80s? Is the brand representation outdated? Purge. Purge. And purge some more.