Branding Guru Spreads His Gospel

Duane Knapp shapes ideals behind names

Duane Knapp’s job is to get people in sometimes stuffy corporations to think about visions and develop simple branding strategies.

Sounds like heady stuff, and you might even wonder if anyone takes him seriously.

Someone must, since his resume of work lists hundreds of Fortune 500 companies.

He has counted among his clients an alphabet soup of companies like Sunkist, International Association of Convention & Visitor Bureaus (IACVB), LA, Inc., AT&T Corporation, and Federated Department Stores, Inc., the owner of Macy’s and Bloomingdale’s.

He’s devised a five-step approach to satisfy the branding gods. He’s crystallized the philosophy in his 267-page textbook, “The BrandMindset.”

The first four steps focus on assessment, looking at what the brand promises to deliver, how to communicate the brand, and how everyone on the inside needs to get with the desired program.

Once the first four steps are embraced, only then can the organization begin to nurture and enhance the brand.

The 57-year-old Knapp is soft spoken. But he speaks with the fervor of a preacher looking to save souls. He gives explicit reasons why everyone should take branding seriously. For sure, he believes he’s on a mission.