Skip to main content

Name Debt? Brand Debt!

Protecting The Brand

I just listened to a podcast that made reference to "name debt". It was centered around how the interviewee wanted to present a new product and whether they should give the new product its own brand or ride an existing brand that it didn't quite fit within the scope of. The term "name debt" in google brought up another concept called "brand debt". Clicking on the first reasonable looking link led to some nice to know nuggets and a nice terse checklist that can help a non-business person like myself wrap my head around defending against brand debt.

The article I read: Brand Debt: Avoiding Your Company's Most Dangerous Deficit

A lot of the article was a bit to vague for me to tangibly apply to my situation until I saw the list at the bottom of this section. Comparing this to my Systems Engineering training, I know that when I start a project there should always be a plan in place that records things like scope, stakeholders, process, etc. In the same vein, a business can be though of as a never-ending project. (All projects should have a reasonable end goal.) The one big take away I got from the article is the following list of items (which I'll take as a guide and not a strict must have) to really help drive an organizational or personal brand.

- Brand Identity

- - Mission & Vision (NOT the same thing, btw)
- Core Values
- Brand Filter

- Editorial Style Guide

- - Brand Messaging
- Tone of Voice
- Taglines
- Copy Rules
- Terms and Usage Guidelines
- Grammar Rules
- Trademarks
- Approval Processes

- Graphic Standards

- - Logo
- Color Pallet
- Fonts and Typography
- Photo and Image Guidelines

- Brand Strategy and Execution

- - Strategic Goals
- Objectives
- Web, Blog and Social Media Best Practices
- Marketing Strategy by Channel
- Video Guidelines
- Social Media Crisis Management
- Buyer Personas

Now the trick will be to stay within the brand and not redefine the brand whenever it suits me. :)