A few of us have been urging business leaders for years to take their Brand Lens more seriously. They should be making better, and more frequent, use of it. You may remember that The Brand Lens is a strategic decision-making tool that can future-proof any business. The notion was brought…

As of this writing, there are nine million open jobs in this country. Employers are kvetching about not being able to fill them. At the same time, there are nine million job seekers actively looking for work. Somehow, these two groups can’t seem to find each other. Or, rather, they…

I usually ignore cultural kerfuffles. They’re almost always much ado about nothing and it’s not like I have any influence over them anyway. But the latest one, involving the search for the replacement host for the hit game show, Jeopardy, did get my attention. For those who may not know…

Lately, I’ve been thinking about Lagrange Points. These are fascinating points in space, relative to two orbiting bodies (earth/moon, sun/earth, etc.), where gravity and centrifugal force combine to establish remarkable balance and equilibrium. Commonly, there are five such points but, not being a mathematician, the only one I clearly understand is L1, the point at which the earth’s gravitational pull is balanced by that of the moon. Anything positioned there, like a satellite or a space station, would remain virtually fixed in space relative to the constant dancing of the two orbs, which are always in perpetual motion. And, because I am who I am, that made me think of branding. Because brands are really the relationships between marketable assets and their markets. And, like the earth and the moon, the asset and the market are always changing, always in motion. Read more.

Choose any product category you like. Now, quick! Name the top five brands in the category. Hard to do isn’t it? If you picked Japanese cars, you’d quickly name Toyota and Honda. But you’d stumble on naming the number three brand. Four and five would be even harder. If you’re in North America and your product category is packaged jams and jellies, you’d also be able to quickly name Stouffer’s and Welch’s as the top two brands. But very few of us know the third most popular brand and the fourth brand is almost unknown. The point is, these days, there are so many brands kicking around, in every category, in every country, in every price range, that we’re all drowning in brand soup. To cope, our brains start editing for us, without our approval or even our permission. Read more.

Back in the ’60s, Al Ries and Jack Trout created the idea of positioning. They championed the notion that a business needs to “occupy” a certain position in the customer’s mind. That way, the customer will immediately think of the business whenever they have a need that it can satisfy. Sounds pretty basic, doesn’t it? But back when the Beatles were the hottest young band on the radio, it was a pretty radical notion. Today, the idea that you need to achieve market position is taken as a given. Pretty much all business people, certainly all marketers, aspire to it. But, in an ideal situation, positioning alone is not enough. People need a shortcut to access that position in their minds. And, oddly enough, it’s the Beatles who can teach us something about that.
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One of the most misunderstood aspects of branding is brand architecture. And because it is so misunderstood, many brands are undervalued when they are bought, sold or merged with other brands. Brand architecture defines the relationships different brands have to one another within a business portfolio. The management of these…

California just entered the “Yellow Tier” which is the least restrictive phase of the pandemic lockdown. If our COVID infections keep dropping as they have been, we’ll soon have an economy that is wide open again. But demand won’t immediately jump to pre-pandemic levels because people will still be cautious…

There are many firms that evaluate the commercial worth of businesses. Senior management turns to these firms for a variety of reasons: partnership disputes, regulatory reporting or establishing fair market value, to name just three. These firms use a variety of tools and formulas to assign monetary value to tangible…

Kevin Walker

Delivers profitable #branding solutions for small and middle-market #business.

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