Branding -
John's Philosophy
Build the brand for the company      
or product & create “instant” sales!               

The majority of John’s clients over the past two decades have requested that he do two things for them:

1. Build the brand for the company or product

2. Create “instant” sales!

As most Advertising Agencies and Marketeers will tell you, to do both of these things simultaneously is quite a challenge!

Conventional marketing wisdom tends to indicate that the normal life-cycle of “volume sales” starts with firstly building the brand. And by “brand”, we mean personality or public image. Just as we all surround ourselves with companions, work colleagues or friends that resemble the type of personality we enjoy, so too do we surround ourselves with products or services which have a brand or personality which appeals to us.

John’s philosophy is that brand building and the creation of instant sales should not be “mutually exclusive” ingredients of the marketing mix. John believes that both can be done simultaneously and cites the likes of Harvey Norman, Domayne, Woolworths, Myer, Virgin Airlines and JetStar as prime examples.

Each of these companies has successfully built a “brand personality” simultaneously with selling a bucket-load of product. Even in recent times, giant fast-food chain, McDonalds, has very successfully re-branded itself as a provider of “healthy food options” by using persuasive retail marketing techniques.

McDonalds introduced it’s “salad range” in the US in 2003, followed by other countries in 2004 – and combined “healthy” brand messages with specific retail offers such as “Roast Chicken Salad for $5.95”. In other words, it didn’t keep its “re-branding” exercise as a separate issue to its regular “price-promotions”.

In the old days, companies seemed to believe that millions of dollars needed to be spent on creating a “brand personality” before they even thought about creating price-based or value-added retail components. (And indeed, even today, “many companies are still caught in this time-warp of segregating their brand message from the retail message,” says John.)

John cites the famous “tech wreck” of a few years ago, as a classic example of many companies simply concentrating on a brand building alone. He quotes “there were certainly some very quick brands established in the mad Internet rush – but many of them disappeared very quickly as a result of not reaching sales expectations.”

How Can You Create a Brand And At The Same Time Sell Stuff?

Click to view PDF version

Click to view PDF version

Two examples of A4 Direct Mail brochures which John has produced for the Greater Building Society. Click on either to see a full PDF version of the brochure – demonstrating brand-building combined with product selling.

John’s philosophy is very simple. He says “not only is it considerably more expensive to firstly attempt to create a brand without any retail/sales mentality attached to your messages, but it is outrageously more expensive to do so.”

And besides, in this age of “measurability”, there are fewer and fewer companies which can afford to sponsor the Olympics, the World Cup or for that matter, any other major “branding only” opportunity.

And besides, many of John’s clients do not have the marketing budgets of multi-nationals and therefore, need to get an instant sales lift from their marketing investment. This is where John differs from many Advertising Agencies and Communications Specialists. He appreciates that in order to deliver instant sales results, he needs to combine a retail marketing philosophy together with brand positioning.

In order to do this, he believes his role is to “interrogate” his client in a marketing sense, in order to discover any “unique selling points” which can be featured in marketing communications. And such “unique selling points” could be features such as price, benefits, free offers or special ingredients.

It is this unique feature (or features), which ultimately can deliver the all-important “wow factor” which John always looks for, in terms of helping a product or service to break through the clutter.

And if the client finds it difficult to find such a unique selling point, John’s role is to find one for them, albeit possibly an artificial stimulus such as a free give-away or value-add benefit.

And of course, by doing so, the expectation is to elicit that all important human reaction of “WOW!”

Logos And Positioning Statements

John works in conjunction with a Master Illustrator to provide many clients with imagery or logos that embrace the culture of the business or product.

John has worked with his illustrator colleague for many years and as a team, offer a dynamic combination of strategic thinking and creativity. John’s illustrator colleague is John Gearman, a conceptualisor and artist with over 20 years’ experience in providing logos and themes to businesses throughout Australia and overseas.

As we all know, the “look” and “design” of one’s company branding and/or packaging, is vitally important to communicate the right message to the target audience. Billabong’s logo and brand treatment communicates the appropriate message of “pop culture”, whereas Rolls Royce’s imagery evokes feelings of success and luxury.

The following are some examples of logos and brand messages.

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