Sticky Branding – 12.5 Principles to Stand Out, Attract Customers and Grow an Incredible Brand (Toronto: Dundurn, 2015)

Are You an Orange Tree in an Evergreen Forest?

This is the point that I kept circling back to as I read through “Sticky Branding – 12.5 Principles to Stand Out, Attract Customers and Grow an Incredible Brand” by Jeremy Miller. It’s THE question you need to ask yourself about your own brand. As I was reminded in the book “Branding has shifted from a feel-good marketing activity to an essential part of business”. What that means for you and your business is if you are not that orange tree, then you need to pick this book up sooner rather than later.

Sticky Branding

The book lays out a formula for looking at how your brand is now, what you need to do to make it sticky and gives you plenty of examples of others who have succeeded in doing the same. What I really liked was that the author did not rely on just the usual ‘easy’ brand stories like Apple, Starbucks or Nike. Yes, they are all examples to a degree of sticky brands. But how relevant can a company worth over $700 billion be to your business? You might use their products and love their brands, but you are not likely to ever have their marketing budgets! But that should not stop you aspire to be more like them and aim higher “Sticky Brands punch outside their weight class”

Miller has searched out and talked to dozens of small and mid-sized businesses and found concrete examples and especially stories as to how his 12.5 principles applied. It was very evident the passion that these businesses AND their employees had for their brands Sticky brands take pride in their work and customers and it shows” Many times also he refers back to his own personal experience of taking a diminishing family business and creating and developing their own sticky brand.

The concept of stand out brands is not new for sure, Marty Neuimeir is his branding books talks about the need to be a ‘charismatic brand’ – a brand for which people feel there is no substitute. In ‘Sticky Branding’ the author encourages us that a sticky brand is achievable for anyone willing to put in the time, energy, resources and creativity to break away from the industry norms and find innovative ways to serve their customers”.

The lessons about focus (“To drive sales and grow a sticky brand, focus on one priority at a time; Volume, Velocity or Value”), simplicity (“Describe your brand in 10 words or less”), and creativity (“The branding strategies and tactics that worked a decade ago are losing relevance”) are loud and clear. But above all that is the unwritten lesson that lies in all the principles, and that is – ‘courage’.

Taking on the challenge to become a sticky brand is not for the faint hearted. The book is a useful guide for you, it gives many good reasons why and suggestions how to do it. The clear exercises with action steps at the end of each chapter are particularly useful. It is definitely a pick up regularly and refer to type of tool. At the end of the day though it requires belief, boldness and hard work to become a sticky brand.

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