Episode 001: What is Company Branding? The Good, the Bad, and the Brilliant.

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.


Get ready for the “Ph.D. of company branding!” Welcome to the inaugural episode of a series that addresses everything you’ve ever wanted to know about building a brilliant brand image. This series tackles one aspect of branding at a time and allows you to “Eat the elephant piece by piece” until you’re well-versed in the world of company branding. So, if you’re interested in learning how to build and showcase a bold and beautiful brand, stay tuned!

What is company branding?

When you hear the word branding, what comes to mind? Advertising? Marketing? Something involving cows and a hot iron rod? The term “branding” itself is cause for quite a bit of confusion. We’ve helped several clients over the years who have said something to the effect of “I needed your service, but I didn’t even know anyone did what you do. You… name things?” Just like naming your baby, naming your business is inevitable.

Many people start businesses smitten by an idea or a passion. They then start working toward the idea and the brand name becomes an afterthought. What they don’t realize is that by building a great brand from the beginning, you can make your brand an asset rather than a liability. You can make your brand foundational, consequential, and intentional rather than reactive and short-sighted.

Phil discusses his early career and experiences in marketing in Tampa Bay, Florida and how those experiences led him to branding. He describes a career mostly driven by sales and the hard work it took to push a poorly-branded client forward. Phil discusses how marketing is like “pushing a mule from the back and getting kicked along the way.” While good branding is like intuitively guiding the mule from the front.

“Good Branding is like intuitively guiding the mule from the front.” -Phil Davis

We discuss how “Education” is the most expensive word in branding. And how poor branding leads to more time and money spent educating customers about what you do. Phil briefly tells this story of his early work with PODS, whose original name was “Portables.” He describes the difficulties of their original marketing strategy. People used to call thinking they rented out Port-a-Potties! Phil describes the strategy he used to take the new concept from a struggling local company to a nation-wide household name in a few short years through the power of strategic branding. He discusses how this experience shifted his thinking and led him into the niche of branding.

What is company branding not?

Like a convicted felon trying to clean up his act by changing his name, the name change alone won’t solve all your problems. That’s because fixing your brand isn’t about changing your name – it’s about aligning your identity with your actions. We’ve all got friends that we rely on for different things. For example, one of your friends may be the life of the party, but perhaps he or she wouldn’t be the most reliable person to help with a move. Good branding isn’t about being everything to everyone. It’s not even about being who you wish to be. It’s not fame. It’s not fake. Good branding is being true to who you are. It’s about letting that truth radiate outward to your audience and your customers.

We wrap-up the discussion by explaining the difference between fame and good branding. Putting enough money into any brand will inevitably make it famous. But, is that what you really want? Do you really need to be famous in order to sell your product? For a large percentage of industries, you don’t. You do, however, need brand clarity, — clarity that highlights your core benefit.