January 24, 2006

News & Opinion: The DNA of Branding

By: Dylan Schleicher @ 9:04 PM – Filed under: Marketing & Sales

What's your favorite brand? Do you prefer Pepsi or Coca-Cola? Starbucks or Seattle's Best? Target or Wal-Mart? Adidas or Nike? I could go on and on.
Me, I'm often in favor of a Starbucks tall skinny vanilla latte, Target's Isaac Mizrahi line and Nike's running shoes. Have I bonded with the brands I just named? Perhaps. Admittedly, in some cases, yes. In others, the brands equate higher quality or lower price for better quality and there's something about the froth that lightly floats on top of my latte. Okay, so perhaps I am attached to the brands.
There's a new book called Primal Branding that recently came out. The author, Patrick Hanlon -- founder and CEO of Thinktopia -- did an interview in Entrepreneur magazine in February's edition. To sum up the book in a sentence, it's about the DNA of brands divided into seven parts. The seven parts in collaboration work to create the "primal code".
Hanlon believes that with the hundreds of choices consumers have, it "boils down to whom customers feel better about. That's called preference and preference creates sales."
To give you an idea of Hanlon's background, he's worked with Absolut, Barnes and Noble, Best Buy and more. One could easily conclude that the primal code works only for big companies such as those aforementioned.
This is not the case. Branding "actually gives small businesses a huge competitive advantage, not just at a functional and benefits level, but at an emotional level. This is really a way to manage the intangibles of the brand and make it operational."
What do you think?

About Dylan Schleicher

Dylan Schleicher has been a part of the 800-CEO-READ claque since 2003. Even though he's stayed on at the company, he has not stayed put. After beginning in shipping & receiving, he joined customer service and accounting before moving into his current, highly elliptical orbit of duties overseeing the ChangeThis and In the Books websites, the company's annual review of books and in-house design. He lives with his wife and two children in the Washington Heights neighborhood on Milwaukee's West Side.