Finding the “rubies” in your orchard

 Can you describe, in one sentence or less, the difference between a brand and a commodity?   A survey was done recently on Linkedin in one of the business marketing professional groups and 60% of the people that were asked this question gave over one sentence for an explanation to this question.  Simply stated:

A brand is your differential in your market and a commodity is the standard (easily interchangeable). 

Brand is not a name or logo. A brand should be desirable ideas that manifest itself in the experience, product, and/or service that you or your company can offer to your audience. It can change perception and diagnose expectations. It can build authentic relationship between you and your clients/ consumers/patients/students/audience.

A successful brand is the culmination of images and messages that interpret the anticipated experience of a product thus providing intrinsic value beyond the cost of the product itself,

A great product does not automatically sell itself, as just about any businessperson who has built a better mousetrap can attest. Effective marketing is a critical factor in priming the pump and selling the customer long before the product is actually in his or her hands.

Lynda Resnick, aka “The POM Queen,” has authored a real gem in “Rubies in the Orchard.” The “rubies” are the pomegranates that she and her husband have grown on 18,000 acres of orchards to produce their 100 percent pure pomegranate juice, POM Wonderful. The title also refers to finding “elements of intrinsic value” that consumers desire. She says, “Every successful marketing campaign begins with uncovering these hidden gems and communicating their value honestly and transparently to the consumer.”

Lynda describes her very successful marketing plan for introducing an unusual, pricey juice that created an entirely new product category. She did it by promoting the health benefits to consumers and insisting on keeping the product pure. She labored over the product name and the packaging.

While her strategies seem simple, they recognize above all that consumers aren’t stupid. They are looking for value, honesty, respect and occasionally, fun. Messages come at consumers from all directions, from billboards to print media to radio/TV to the Internet(social media).

Products and businesses fail every day for all kinds of reasons, from inferior quality to poor promotion. Lynda’s advice is useful to any business that is looking to avoid that fate. Find the value in your product/service, no matter how basic or simple, and capitalize on that feature.  If your product is worth producing, figure out what makes it special.

“Success isn’t a matter of throwing something against the wall in the hope that it will stick. It’s the sum of research, focus, discipline and hard work,” she writes. “It flows from a systematic approach to uncovering value that others have overlooked (perhaps because they were busy throwing stuff against a wall to see what would stick) and learning how to communicate that value in clever, effective, truthful ways

Build your brand with desirable ideas that can manifest itself in the experience, product or service. Make it a “wow” experience.

What is your differential?


  1. Thank you for the thoughtful blog on branding. Building on what you said, LinkedIn is the place where first and foremost one brands themselves. If someone works for a company, branding opportunities exist on the product, websites, ads, facebook fan pages etc. I guess the point I’m trying to make is that LinkedIn is for the individual to brand themselves not the company they work for.

    1. Linkedin is a valued piece of your communication strategy and can be used to help establish a brand for the indivdiual, assocation or the company. It will depend on the clarity and consistency of the communication too.
      Marsha Diamond

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