Brand, Reputation, and Delusion

If you are working on growing your business, you can expect to hear talk about the importance of building a brand.  There are branding companies, branding consultants, branding experts, branding strategists, and so on and so on.  All of them want to help you grow your business by creating a brand presence in the mind of your current and future customers.

top global brandsWhat is a Brand?

In it’s simplest form, a brand is what comes to mind when someone hears your name, sees your logo, or thinks of your company.  It may be affected by ‘branding” and marketing, but more often than not,  it is shaped by your customers’ experience with your actions and the evidence those actions leave behind.

The chart at right lists the 25 top most valuable global brands of 2011  as ranked by ZBrands.  How many do you recognize?

Your brand and your reputation go hand in hand.

Reputation is the recognition by other people of some characteristic or ability according to the folks at Merriam Webster.  What do people recognize about your company.  Is is your service, the quality of your products, the innovative solutions you provide?   None of these things came out of an ad campaign.  They come  from the words and deeds of your team.

Are you living in a world of brand delusion?

The strength or value of your brand is not in its ranking on a list or even in that instant recognition.  The value must be measured in terms of the economic benefit derived when our brand inspires another to act and to buy your product, service or idea.

If what you want your brand to be and what others experience and see do not match, you are in a state of brand delusion.  This is the most expensive form of marketing madness, an idiosyncratic belief or impression that is firmly maintained despite being contradicted by what is generally accepted and experienced as reality by your customer segment.

When our brand is well positioned, so is our company or organization. Helping us to survey, to listen, and to understand our true brand position and then to make the most of it is the most valuable role those brand experts can play. Use them not to create your brand image but to help you understand and leverage it. Go out in the marketplace and listen to what others are saying about their experience with your company. product or service. If you like what you hear, build on it. If you don’t, get to work with your team on matching words to reality.

Thanks for stopping by. Stay tuned…

Joan Koerber-Walker


Joan Koerber-Walker is President and CEO of AZBio, the Arizona BioIndustry Association. A two time Stevie Award National Finalist and former Fortune 500 executive, she is also the Chairman of the Board of CorePurpose, Inc. and the Opportunity Through Entrepreneurship Foundation and serves as Executive in Residence for Callaman Ventures. As the former CEO of the Arizona Small Business Association and a past member of the Board of Trustees of the National Small Business Association in Washington, D.C. Joan has worked with hundreds of small businesses and on behalf of thousands in these roles. Chat with her on Twitter as @AZbioCEO @joankw, @JKWgrowth, @JKWinnovation, @JKWleadership and @CorePurpose or at her blog at

Your Opportunity to Join Joan for a BlogTalk Radio Double Header This Week.

July 4, 2011 – Joan chats with Las Vegas’ Lori Wilk of Successipes about Entrepreneurial Freedom at 3PM Pacific.  To listen live or for  post broadcast replays click here.

July 5, 2011 – Joan chats with Houston’s Stephen J Blakesley on Entrepreneurs-R-Us on BlogTalk at 3:30 PM Pacific.  To listen live or for post broadcast replays  click here.

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