Branding Your Brand

This past Wednesday a small group of local leaders and I had the opportunity to sit under the teaching of Kristie Van Auken, Senior Vice President and Chief Marketing & Communications Officer of Akron-Canton Airport.  Kristie’s specialty with CAK is to oversee all of their marketing and communications, including air service development, branding, advertising, media relations, social media, and internal and external communications.

Kristie is a person who understands the landscape of today’s tech tools, and the results can be seen their web site’s social hub (HERE) and the 5,000+ Facebook friends (more than any other airport in the country!). So in regards to marketing and developing your brand, here were some key points from Kristie:

Be Your Brand. CAK’s brand is simple:  Price + Experience = A Better Way To Go.  However, they noticed that their bottlenecked, check-in wasn’t an accurate reflection of their desired experience for passengers.  So this disconnect has now spawned a new building project to widen their security check-in.   (NOTE: If the costumer can’t tell you what your brand is, then you don’t have a brand!)

Earn Your Reputation. Every company has to determine what their reputation is worth and then make the necessary steps to achieve it.  But the key to achieving your earnings comes down to trust.  Whatever the case, never stop branding!

Build Over Rebuild. If you lose the trust of your costumers, then you will lose your reputation, and thereafter your brand.  Like CAK’s partner Value Jet, there was no way they could have ever rebuilt their brand following the 1996 crash of flight 592.  Instead of a rebuild, they built a new brand following their acquisition of AirTran, and have been very successful ever since.  It’s easier to build a brand then rebuild one.

Tell Them First. CAK doesn’t wait to inform the media of both the good and bad news regarding airport issues.  They take a very proactive approach ensuring the public is holistically informed through various media channels.


~ by Dave Smith on January 24, 2010.

3 Responses to “Branding Your Brand”

  1. hey dave, fyi, i believe it was this PR lady from canton/akron airport that waived all baggage fees for the medical team headed to haiti yesterday. so, that was very cool of her. (i think it’s cuz they threw your name around her.) 🙂

  2. It wouldn’t be surprising.

    Did she pass for someone that could look like your older sister? If so, probably her.

    If they mentioned my name, the wouldn’t have left the ground!

  3. […] Dave Smith recently commented in his blog in post titled “Branding Your Brand‘ with some excellent thoughts  on the subject as well.   It’s worth the […]

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