10 Ways to Be Iconic Now: Building Your Brand in the New Age of Marketing

Becoming Iconic and standing out

From “Where Have All the Icons Gone?” by Michael J. Pallerino

Not your father’s brand – Be Iconic

Ask Rob Frankel about the notion of building iconic brands today, and then step back. The noted branding expert and author of the book, The Revenge of Brand X: How to Build a Big Time Brand on the Web or Anywhere Else, says too many people think branding is about identity and awareness, but it isn’t.

Be Iconic - Building Your Brand

Frankel says neither of those do anything to build real trust or revenues. “My definition is that branding is about ‘getting your prospects to perceive you as the only solution to their problem.’ You don’t have to be the only solution; they just have to perceive that nobody else will solve their problems.”

Marketing experts like Frankel believe that the world’s “disposable” mindset is why many brands rise and fall so quickly. When the public is given nothing to invest in, they don’t. “The way we communicate would actually enhance a well-built brand,” says Frankel, a regular contributor on programs such as “NBC Nightly News” and “Fox News.” “But because some confuse media, graphics, identity and awareness for branding, the job never gets done. It’s a ‘garbage in, garbage out’ thing.”

Make no mistake about it – there have been myriad iconic-like brands that have been created over the years. A recent Ad Age report shows that some of the biggest and most popular brands today are ones that have been around for a while, including Apple, McDonald’s, Microsoft, Samsung, Toyota, GE, IBM and Coca-Cola, to name a handful.

“The same brands that existed before this generation are the most iconic, which is why this generation’s brands seem so temporary,” Frankel says. “As evidence, look at how many retro brands are being exhumed. It’s happening because this generation has no idea of why brands are created or how to nurture them. Our grandfathers and great grandfathers built brands to represent the value they stood for. Their descendants have no such experience.”


Expert and author Rob Frankel can teach us a thing or two about branding.

10 Laws for Branding Success: Your Guide to Being Iconic

Law No. 1 – Brands are not about you. Brands are about them.

Law No. 2 – If the branding is wrong, so is everything else.

Law No. 3 – Advertising grabs their minds. Branding gets their hearts.

Law No. 4 – Build from your strengths.

Law No. 5 – If you can’t articulate it, neither can anyone else.

Law No. 6 – The success of a brand varies directly with the ability to accept the mantle of leadership.

Law No. 7 – The stronger your brand, the less susceptible you are to pricing issues and competition.

Law No. 8 – The brand begins in the business plan.

Law No. 9 – Advertising is not branding. Branding is branding. Advertising raises the awareness of the brand you create.

Law No. 10 – There is no such thing as co-branding.


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Featured in Connect Magazine, January/February 2014.

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