The creation of fast acting, upwardly accelerating, new world finding brands. The brand strategy that forces every ounce of growth out of the brand and then some more and right away. This is Rocket Branding.


New TEch Blog PM copyBranding is the most undervalued ROI asset for a new technology based product or service.

Yet with a little creativity and strategic rigor, branding is one of the easiest, cheapest and quickest assets to build.

Snausages (a new doubly extruded pet treat) was created over a slice of pizza, Celebrex (a new cox-2 inhibitor) on a napkin over lunch. The new, Old Spice (advanced deodorancy) from a couple of focus groups.

Branding is the short hand surrogate for the technology. Would you rather put sucralose or Splenda in your coffee? Would you rather send a ‘fax’ or a facsimile transmission? Do you ride a Harley or a motorbike?

Branding is also an opportunity to create new category language. Celebrex was the first new ‘smart’ drug. ‘Social collaboration’ was the new space for content management and intranet software. Being the first or best of a new space is a great positioning for a new technology. It tends to bring in the media, which loves to name and anoint new categories …4X4, SUV, laptop, cross trainer, designer drugs and so on.

A well-positioned and designed brand identity (name, logo, tag, message) will accelerate acceptance and, importantly promote advocacy (and buzz) among key customers, consumers and their influencers.

New technology has created revenues and market share for centuries with examples in every category … medicine, food, transport, fabric etc. and now with the digital age new technology applications are producing new products and behaviors at an unprecedented rate.

So why do so many new tech brands fail to gain traction and deliver their early revenue and ROI goals?.

Three reasons.

1. The ‘What it is vs. What it does’ syndrome. New technology creators are brilliant. New features and functions can be world changing. Unfortunately most of the world is too busy and occupied to notice. The trap is in believing that all you have to do is tout the features …the what it is and people will flock to it.

The truth is that most people don’t care as much about what it is as what it does for them. Does it it make their lives, easier, healthier, happier? And even further does it provide an emotional or psychic reward? And even further what does it allow me to give up?

2. Creative Fear. One of the great ironies I come across is how creative, technology innovators, can be and yet how uncreative they think they are in branding. Scientists, engineers, inventors, invariably feel that they are not equipped to create brands. No so. In fact in my experience some of the most creative branding exercises have been conducted with exactly that group.

I hate to break the myth but branding is simple logic and common sense…typically two of the key strengths of creators.

3. Asking the wrong questions

Here’s the magic. Take notes. This is a product of 35+ years of building successful brands and particularly technology fueled brands. It is called Rocket Branding℠.

It’s all about growth, focus and simplicity.

Understanding what the role of the branding is in building company growth, focusing on the target that will contribute most and quickest to the growth path and if it isn’t simple no one cares.

Answer these 5 questions and you will be on your way to branding nirvana.

1. What revenue are we looking for over the next 3-5 years?

2. What target consumer or customer is going to be our most important revenue generator?

3. What does our new technology enable them to do better or more of?

4. How are they going to feel in using our technology?

5. What words, thought, ideas best describe or symbolize that experience?

Start here and go for it. You’ll be surprised how creative you can be.

For more on this thinking and cases read my book Rocket Branding,buy at, visit and contact us if you’d like some help.


 My favorite question on my weekly Chicago radio show is what is the one thing today that separates success from failure, winners from losers?

Here are quotes from three recent guests who work across a broad cross section of companies and industries.

  “Putting your head down and getting your work done. It’s all about execution.”

The key point Kristin Barrett VP Chicagoland Entrepreneurial Center makes when seeing what creates success with her 300 high value start-ups at the 1871 incubator.

  “ When there is something in front of you that you can do, do it. Execute and learn”

Advice Kent Gladish, Senior Marketing and Sales Director Technology and Manufacturing Alignment Association provides when counseling his the 1,000-member organization on moving ahead and being successful.

“Its one thing to have a great idea but without a strong bias to action and execution the idea is typically under-served and unrealized

Observations from Bruno Gruaz a senior executive and Guest Expert Host on the show who counsels company owners on sustainable growth and prosperity.

Get the point? It ‘s all about getting it done. Executing. Making it happen.

Why is this? Are we not in a new world of digital productivity capabilities that enable us to get connected, get information and get action anywhere in the world, any time of the day?

So how has not getting it done, become such a factor?

I’m actually not surprised at this. In working across a wide range of people, industries and generations I see a new syndrome emerging, which I call the ‘Comfort Tunnel’.

Bit obtuse yes, but at least for me it attempts to describe the way some people tend to work today. It is very easy to spend a ton of time on-line sitting at a computer, connecting, conversing, scheduling. It is engaging, comfortable and seemingly ‘busy’ work.  Getting a little bored? It’s easy to jump on Twitter or check into Facebook or play with your calendar.

The next thing you know the day is gone. This is a comfortable, narrow existence, which tends to perpetuate work with little to show for it. You feel like you are working but are things really getting done?

So what is the answer? How do you get more done?

Again my answer is simple. Successful execution is all about a proper plan that is focusing on growth and simplicity…as often said…if you don’t know where you are going, you will never get there.

Focusing on a 3-5 year growth plan gives you a clear way to organize your plan and actions. If actions or decisions you make do not contribute directly to the growth plan at any point, then don’t do it.

And then, if the actions aren’t simple and instantly relevant in today’s high ADD and no time world, trust me they won’t work.

And the good news is that if you adopt this approach then you can still be in a ‘comfort tunnel’ but just much more productive.

For more about how to create a successful and simple plan see or email





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