Do you remember that really boring person at the last party you went to? The one that had nothing to add to the conversation? Of course not, no one does. I bet you do remember that interesting and engaging person and that is why branding is so important. In today’s attention-grabbing world, it is your brand that makes you stand out, makes you memorable and builds relationships with your customers.
Here are five tips for helping you create a holistic brand strategy for your organization.
1. Your brand is more than your logo.
A powerful brand has a personality–clear messaging, a unique voice, strong values and mission statement, differentiated market positioning and more. This gives your customers something to relate to. When your customers relate to your brand, you create brand loyalty.Think of Apple and how loyal it customers are. Make your brand the person at the party that not only looks good but captivates the guests.
2. A great brand starts internally
People value and remember brands that have a personality and stand for something. A great brand incorporates your Vision, Mission and Values of your organization. It focuses on both what you do (the products and services you offer) and why your organization exists. A simple exercise to define your brand is to write 3-5 adjectives to describe how you want your customers to feel when they work with you. This will give you a solid foundation to build from. Do not be afraid to be different because being different makes you memorable, but you need to make sure it is authentic.
3. Make your brand matter to your customers.
To capture your audience’s attention, draw the connection between your brand and the benefit and feeling your customers gain from interacting with you. When you do this, you give your customers a reason to engage with your brand, create brand loyalty and generate revenue. Make sure you speak their language when relate your brand to their needs, wants and beliefs. One example is Zappos, people buy from Zappos not because of the amazing customer service, but because when customers interact with the brand they feel valued and important. Your brand is like a great party host, you make your guests feel welcomed.
4. Your Brand Strategy needs to include your employees, partners and vendors.
Your brand strategy needs to go beyond just your typical “customers”. When talking about, planning and executing your brand strategy, you need to think about your employees, potential employees, partners and vendors. Define what you want your brand experience to look like for each group. Get clear on the type of organizations and people you want to do business with and employ. In today’s ever connected world, your relationships are more powerful than ever. A complete brand strategy is like a magnet, it pulls people in. You create a reputation that speaks for you.
5. Branding is a long-term plan, not a short term action.
It is the foundation for everything you do in your business. Focus on your long-term objectives and be consistent and persistent with your messaging, imagery and positioning. Stick to your core brand. What you do as an organization will change but your brand and what you stand for should not. You may update your logo and language, but the core of your brand should remain at the foundation of what you do. Coca-Cola, one of the most recognized brands in the world, has changed the products it offers to customers but its brand has remained the same.
Building a great holistic brand is like throwing a great party. You need to make sure that everything is in alignment–from your website to your customer interactions. If you have questions on how you can define or grow your brand, please reach out to us, we are happy to answer any questions or help you create a plan to amplify your impact.