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Brand Madness, Tournament Style
By: Cindy Wendland
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Milwaukee is known as a “Great Place by a Great Lake.” For the next six weeks, Milwaukee will also be a place where a serious branding competition is taking place. The Milwaukee Business Journal brought back the tournament-style competition to determine the top brand in southeastern Wisconsin. This is a head-to-head competition of Milwaukee’s iconic business names. 

The winner in 2011 was the Milwaukee Art Museum, with close runners-up of The Pfister Hotel, Quad Graphics, Kohl’s, and Miller Lite. Who will win this year’s brand competition? Milwaukee area residents are asked to vote each day for the best-known brand. The complete match-up was done in bracket tournament style and includes Harley-Davidson, Kopp’s Custard, Klement’s Sausage, Masterlock, and more. The full 64 brands in the complete bracket can be downloaded here

The editor-in-chief of the Milwaukee Business Journal makes a point that this branding competition is for fun, not a scientific study of brand effectiveness, so don’t expect a case study to come out of it. One of the big draws for the Business Journal is to have people sign up for their newsletter, making it an elaborate plan to increase subscribers.

At this point, all these companies have achieved success in their brands in order to be selected for this competition. In the past, there was creative use of social media and even a mascot abduction. This competition is about employee and customer engagement and having a little fun. For marketers, it is a chance to more closely evaluate the strategies behind some really good companies and learn from them. For the companies involved, they will increase their exposure in the community. We can’t wait to see the creativity from some of the best brands around.

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About the Author
Cindy Wendland has a background in marketing and finance. She is the creative director for an online men's health magazine, BrainBrawnBody.com, and she gets to write their leisure/travel blog. She is also a web designer helping her clients with online community engagement, websitesbywendland.com. Prior to her web years, she worked in pharmacy consulting.
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