Episode 003: The 4 ‘C’s of Brilliant Branding

Brilliant Branding Live Show Archives

Originally aired weekly August 2017 - August 2018 With host Phil Davis

Show Description

"Brilliant Branding" shines the spotlight, and provides valuable insights, into the most common, and frustrating company identity issues facing startups, entrepreneurs, consultants, and even established business owners. Topics address timely issues such as effective naming strategies, smart logo design, tips for trademarking, clear brand messaging, engaging social media and reputation management. We take a deep dive to uncover the "pivot point" of an organization, the "why" behind each business to help build a more clear, cohesive and compelling brand image.


Brilliant Branding is all about the 4 ‘C’s

In today’s episode, we discuss the “4 C’s” of brilliant branding and show you how to create a brand that is clear, concise, compelling, consistent. We touch on last week’s episode and remind you that brilliant branding is really about owning a position in your customer’s mind. We stress the importance of owning an attribute, which is more timeless than owning a specific product or service. Once you understand your pivot point, we encourage you to ask yourself, “How do I communicate this?” 


First and foremost, brilliant branding starts with clarity. Entrepreneurs early in their business are often afraid that people aren’t going to “get it.” As a result, they name their business very literally. The irony of clarity is that it isn’t about literally describing your business. When you create literal language, you pin your brand down in time and space. 

People use the most valuable real estate in their brand to tell people the obvious. By telling them the obvious, you’re really not telling them anything other than “this is the industry I’m in.” 

Here’s a quick two-step test to determine whether or not you’re on track for brilliant branding:

1) Do you find yourself having to explain your business?

2) Do you ever find yourself having to say “We’re more than ______.”

If you’ve said yes to either of these, then you’re most likely struggling with brand clarity. 

Clarity isn’t about being literal or descriptive. It’s about congruence. Brilliant branding means your company name, message, and actions align with your core purpose. To use a golf analogy, the perfect brand name is not a hole in one. It’s the beginning of a conversation. Branding doesn’t get you all the way there in one stroke. It closes the distance from which you need to put. I gets you on the green, 6 inches from the hole, making it easy to sink it in. 

As an example, we here at Tungsten had a client reach out to us a few years ago with a branding Crisis. Feeling limited by their name, “More Than Christmas,” we encouraged the company to undergo a rebranding exercise. As a result, the company re-emerged with a much more versatile and perennial name while at the same time preserving its original festive essence. 


Brevity often requires more effort than verbosity. Often times piecing together too many ideas can lead to a mirky, convoluted image. Connecting on a mental level will never be as effective as connecting on a visceral level. Creating taglines that are descriptive, logical, etc. will never be as strong as ones that get to the the core of who we are as people. In this week’s podcast, we give several examples of brands that have successfully developed concise taglines and points to their quick, visceral, and emotive themes. We then takes you through an exercise to help you communicate a concise message. 


It’s not enough to create a cool-sounding, clear, and concise name and tagline. You have to be compelling. Being compelling means being authentic and passionate. It means standing behind your message and being genuinely enthusiastic about it. 

Want to know if your brand and your company is compelling? Ask yourself whether or not people would be interested in purchasing merchandise with your name on it. Can you imagine someone wearing a t-shirt, hoodie, or hat with your name on it? Can you imagine someone wanting to buy a bumper sticker with your logo on it? Would they proudly display your name on stationary, journals, etc? Do they want to be a part of your message and a part of your experience? 


Once you have established a clear, concise, and compelling brand, you now have to remain consistent. Consistency is really the hallmark of good branding. Consistency falls into three categories:  Consistency of look, of experience, and of messaging. If you’re on a road trip and you pull off on an exit for food, are you going to try an unpredictable local burger joint or are you going to choose McDonald’s? 

The burger at the burger joint may be bigger, juicier, and tastier than the McDonald’s burger- but then again it might not. In moments like this, people are often drawn to what is predictable and familiar. Over the years, McDonalds has delivered a reliable and consistent product, allowing the company to expand and attract and retain loyal customers. Consistency also means not straying from your brand image to chase fads or trends, as doing so will ultimately alter and hurt your brand image. 

We wrap up the show by giving you a small preview of what we’ll be discussing on our next show, which will be all about how to build a successful brand identity. As always, we invite you to join us and listen along to each week’s podcast as we take you through the entire process of building a brand from start to finish.