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Jeremy Miller is a Brand Builder, Keynote Speaker, and the President of Sticky Branding – a Brand Building Agency. After rebranding his family’s business, Jeremy now works with client companies to make them stand out, challenge the giants of their industry, and grow incredible brands. His latest book “Sticky Branding” contains a wealth of his insights into brand-building.
I cannot believe I’ve spent 35 years learning “sticky brand-building “ from three multinational agencies and then working on some of the biggest multinational brands, while someone like Jeremy Miller has got it all so right in far shorter a span of time – by the sheer hands-on experience of taking a me-too, run-of-the-mill family business and turning it around through direct experiential insights he got as he went along.
This book “Sticky Branding” from Jeremy Miller is 100% a book “written from the trenches”. It is a book specifically written for small and mid-sized companies that find the bookshelves bare when it comes to brand-building advice that is suited to their scale.
From the very first page of the introduction to the very last page, the book comes across as an authentic first-person account and a 360-degree view of what real practical value-based brand-building is about. It sequentially addresses the principles and tasks involved and encourages aspirants to follow along step by step, trying out the exercises at the end of each chapter.
We don’t get that overwhelmed feeling that is usual after reading a typical tome on brand strategy … instead, this book gives a very comforting feeling of do-ability.
The entire book is a study of how to be “brand-conscious” in everything you do as a company. Don’t just state the value proposition, but reflect it in all your work.
The emphasis is on building a brand from the inside out. The first imperative is to see that every employee of the company becomes a custodian of the brand.
The idea reinforced repeatedly through the book is about what a “sticky brand” really is. It’s not about being the brand you want to be, but to be the brand your customers want to be with.
The top 3% customer conversion rule is very well explained. The book beautifully shows that it’s the bottom 90% of the customer-pyramid for whom the brand has to be built.
There is also an excellent exposition of the three V’s in brand building. The triad of volume, velocity and value are thoroughly covered.
I understand the desires and pain points of both very small and very big businesses and their brands. More importantly, I understand online consumer psychology.
In real life, small to midsize companies seldom have the bandwidth to do it all themselves and they need advertising agencies that understand their specific needs. I felt the book could have addressed in more depth the question of how smaller companies can get their agencies to work with them on their brand-building at their wavelength.
There is also the question of who at the company has to be the “owner” of the brand assets and what specific training and orientation this person needs to have to fill the role well. I would have liked to see this topic addressed.
I noticed that the book deals with very current ideas like “brand storytelling”, “content sharing as communication” and “community building” as particularly important to small and midsize companies. With the rampant growth of the social media these very same ideas are now preoccupying the minds of very large organizations as well.
1. In these days of borderless markets, should small-to-mid-sized businesses still focus on local markets within their control or should they try to reach out to global audiences via the online media? What do you see as the challenges of keeping small-to-mid-sized brands sticky when the marketing reach transcends geographies and becomes more affected by the cultural differences in perception of the brands in different geographies?
Geography is not a limitation for small-and mid-sized companies anymore. Any business can market, sell, and deliver its services anywhere in the world. The question is does servicing international markets fit your business model and capabilities. Sticky Brands cannot be all things to all people. They have to choose where to play and how to win — how they will Tilt The Odds in their brand’s favor.
For example, in my business I serve international markets. The Sticky Branding Community is a global community, and I work with companies from around the world. Geography is not a limiter. It’s an option.
2. What is your feeling about small-to-mid-size companies and their use of the social media in creating their “sticky brands? Large companies are now resorting to sounding smaller on the social media through a more personal “brand tone of voice”. How should small companies aim to sound over the social media, to become or stay sticky in that milieu, when larger brands are downscaling themselves to become part of the competition?
Social media is ubiquitous. Everyone has access to Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and other platforms. What separates one firm from the next on these platforms is two elements: the quality and caliber of their content; and presence on the social media channels.
Every business has access to the tools. It’s how they use them that separates the average companies from the Sticky Brands.
3. In your book, why is the last chapter called Point 12.5? Why only half a point for that chapter, when the entire book’s wealth of information is distilled into that last chapter?
Principle 12.5 is an important one: Choose your brand. Brands are built by people — smart, ambitious, impatient people. People who are passionate about growing their brands, and will do anything in their power to make it a success.
The final chapter combines this principle with the conclusion. I thought it a fitting way to wrap up the book. What do you think?
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