The term “Guerilla Branding” plays off the phrase “Guerilla Warfare”, for which my favorite definition comes from army-technology.com: “an unconventional mode of warfare, where operations take place in hostile or enemy territory by irregular forces.”
Guerilla Branding takes much the same approach:
Unconventional: Traditional Brand development and marketing involves lengthy market research, analysis, committee-based decision-making and coordination with seventeen layers of management. These are all very good things, unless you don’t have the time, money, patience or personnel to take this approach.
Warfare: Don’t kid yourself. Branding isn’t for the faint of heart—it takes discipline and passion, and an unreasonable belief that you not only will carry the day, but by gum, you should. Because your Brand is Better.
Operations: Key point here. Guerilla Branding is not Gorilla Branding (unless you’re Gorilla Glue). Put the idea that you’re a bunch of hooligans out screaming through the forests out of your head. Even if you’re operating on a shoestring budget with a elite squadron of Brand Passionistas moving stealthily through the night, you are doing so according to a course of action that fits your Mission, Vision, and Business Plan. No action, no matter how original or outre, should be undertaken carelessly, without a clear and trackable result in mind.
Hostile or Enemy Territory: Guerilla Branding, by definition, takes the battle into the thick of the marketplace, where the customers are, where your top competitors are, and where you need to establish a beachhead for yourself and your Brand.
Irregular Forces: This would be you, standing out from the crowd. Whether you are making a name for yourself, your work or your organization, the marketplace is thoroughly saturated by traditional Brand marketing… and traditional Brand marketers who are very good at what they do. Your best chance at success is to be different—in a positive, memorable, and engaging way.