Originally published in the Boulder Daily Camera and the Longmont Daily Times-Call.

Manning’s the Man.

That’s what I’m thankful for this Thanksgiving. I’m also thankful for my family, friends and community. But having Manning behind center puts extra whipped cream on my pumpkin pie.

I’ve been a Denver Broncos fan since they wore striped stockings. I’ve also admired the Manning clan, especially Peyton (except when they were lined up opposite the Broncos). Thus, I was thrilled when John Elway successfully recruited Peyton. Now my favorite QB is calling plays for my favorite team.

Manning is more than a great football player. He’s a leader. He’s a role model. He’s a community supporter. He’s an advertising juggernaut who increases sales with a wink and a smile. With his modest demeanor and dry wit, he successfully pitches everything from cars and television shows to worthy causes and community projects. He’s as popular on YouTube and Saturday Night Live as he is on the field. Peyton Manning is a brand onto himself.

Great brands such as Manning are built over time. They reflect success, performance and loyalty. Strong brands withstand economic headwinds.

Customers seek out name brands, knowing that their expectations will be met or exceeded. Strong brands reflect proven quality and worth. Strong brands withstand vagaries of the market. Customers and clients have an affinity for them. That doesn’t just happen.

The American Marketing Association (AMA) defines a brand as “…a name, term, sign, symbol or design, or a combination of them intended to identify the goods and services of one seller or group of sellers and to differentiate them from those of other sellers.” Getting from the definition to commercial realities isn’t easy.

Branding or re-branding your business or services involves more than changing a logo or a tagline or a name.

Effective branding is strategic, complex and usually requires expert advice.

Dedication and discipline are essential to ensure your visual,

written and verbal messaging are in sync and consistent. The processes also mandate a commitment of time and resources to understand your company’s core values. Core values go beyond your products and services to what your customers or clients expect from you. Core values are the things and actions that set you apart from your competition.

Objectives of a good brand include:

  • Delivering your messages clearly
  • Confirming your credibility
  • Connecting emotionally with target prospects
  • Motivating buyers or users
  • Solidifying buyer and user loyalty

Customers and clients are attracted to good brands. They know what they’re getting for their money. And good brands rub off on other brands. That’s why companies want Manning’s endorsements. His brand enhances their brands. That’s good to keep in mind when doing business with other businesses. Does it advance your best interests and support your core values.

Will the business alignment help or hurt your brand?

Businesses or organizations launching branding or re-branding efforts absent a clear view of the big picture probably won’t achieve their goals. New logos, taglines and company names are important, but success lies in making the logos, taglines and names truly reflective of your products, services and performance. Remember Chad Johnson?

Chad Johnson is a former National Football League star. When his performance on the field started falling short of expectations, he re-branded himself as Chad Ochocinco. The change didn’t enhance Chad’s performance. Fans and owners didn’t buy the new brand. He went back to plain Chad Johnson. He is out there somewhere without an NFL contract, endorsements, a reality show or even guest appearances on late night television. No matter how Chad was branded, the public wasn’t buying his performance.

So goodbye, Chad.

Hello, Peyton!

Stacy Cornay is the owner of Communication Concepts Public Relations & Advertising. 
Visit www.comm-concepts.com or call 303-651-6612.

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