Branding Blog

Building a brand by breaking all the rules like Berkshire Hathaway.

Written by Dale Berkebile | Fri, Oct 22, 2010

I have been reviewing a lot of companies to see how their brand is doing. I also am interested in how successful these companies are at becoming with both strong brand building efforts and without what is typically thought of as "branding". One thing we have noticed is that you may be able to build a super-successful brand by using anti-branding methods.

As and example I recently read The Snowball: Warren Buffett and the Business of Life. Through learning more about Warren Buffett and his main company BERKSHIRE HATHAWAY, I thought I would do a little research on the company. I think most people that know anything about Warren would say they would be happy to have a business half as successful as BERKSHIRE HATHAWAY.

The question of branding comes up and at first glance at BERKSHIRE HATHAWAY's website, you are lead to believe there is no branding what-so-ever to BERKSHIRE HATHAWAY. The problem is most people do no fully understand a brand and branding.

A brand is less about a logo and more about a promise to your customer. This is something Warren has done quite well, delivered on promises, looked out for the clients best interests and go above and beyond what was expected. So lets review their website a little and compare it to E-Trade.

As you can see BERKSHIRE HATHAWAY has no logo at all, just some regular letter typed at the top of the page. E-Trade on the other hand has a very nice professional logo. Everything on the E-Trade site is actually nice and professional. Now the question is which site performs better? You might be surprised to know that BERKSHIRE HATHAWAY gets a higher website grade than E-Trade does.

BERKSHIRE HATHAWAY scores a 93% out of 100 and E-Trade a 91%. You see BERKSHIRE HATHAWAY's site breaks a ton of the regular marketing and branding rules. Like: Have a strong logo Have a strong visual hiearchy to help direct the viewers eyes to the most important areas of the site. Have a blog and develop content to get found Use Meta Descriptions (they do not use one) to promote each page on search engines. Have a website conversion form to convert visitors into leads (not one on this page).

So as you can see Warren has built this company on his back, not on all the marketing or branding some companies push. Don't get us wrong, we are one of those companies pushing the marketing and brand building efforts. What we are saying though is it is important to know the rules before you start breaking them.

The #1 rule Warren uses to build all his companies and his billions is discipline. His success cam over 30, 40, 50+ years doing the same thing over and over again. It was not a get rich quick scheme for warren and it should not be for you either.

Be patient, commit to doing a few things on a regular basis, you know like buy with cash and never on credit or once you start marketing, never stop. In both of these situations things only get better with time and dedication to these items.

It might seem like a slow tough road, but these are the true habits of highly successful people. We'll see you in 30 years and see where you and your business are. We hope that you will stick around and watch what we are able to do in the next 30 years.

We are more disciplined now and excited to see where this is going to take us. Hopefully, You (our readers) and BRANDWISE will reach a least a small fraction of Warren's success level.