In today’s crowded marketplace, having a strong brand plays a crucial role in giving you a competitive advantage. How you establish, build and present your brand is important and needs to be approached with care, so you avoid wasting money or worse still damage your reputation.
In the current world of increased competition, disruption and trust erosion, we need to get “Back to Brand” thinking – your brand could hold the key to unlocking the potential in your business, not least in attracting clients, staff, partners, investment and buyers.
We may live in a technology empowered era, but ultimately, we sell Human to Human, whether we’re a B2B or a B2C business. In optimising your brand, consider humanising it too. Also take the extra step to build a personal brand that fits alongside the corporate brand. When they work in harmony, it’s extremely powerful.
YOUR BUSINESS CASE CHECKLIST FOR GOING BACK TO BRAND
A strong brand is the foundation stone of a successful business. A strong brand will deliver value. A well-developed brand can harness your culture, values and communications into a cohesive expression that invites all to engage in your mission.
THREE STEPS TO GETTING STARTED
So, where and how do you start building or re-tuning your brand? Take time to think about your brand around the three steps listed below, and then consider if you may benefit from seeking professional support to guide you through the stages of brand strategy, development and implementation.
People talk about brand strategy but what exactly is it? Simply put, it’s a way of prioritising the key points of your organisation into a message hierarchy that captures the DNA of your business.
1 Define your vision and mission
2 Consider your key audiences
3 Prioritise your key selling points
The basics expressed in the most relevant and compelling way can then be used to guide design development, communication campaigns, web messaging and product development etc.
1 Your brand needs to be clear, differentiating and relevant
You may already have a clear understanding of what your brand stands for, but do your employees and customers understand that as well as you do?
2 Don’t be a “copy-cat” brand
Each reader will take something different away from this article; because we are all different, our companies are all different, and at different stages of organisational maturity. Just as we each have a unique set of DNA, so too should our businesses.
3 Consistent brand messaging needs to work across all your touchpoints
You need to define what your brand stands for, what messages you need to convey, what character you want to present, and you have to ensure you demonstrate this across all your assets. You also need to consider how this can translate to an appropriate visual identity (logo and other design elements) to bring your brand to life on digital, print and other communications assets.
4 Allow for authentic on-brand voices to be heard
Everyone in your business has an important responsibility in communicating your brand to the outside world. Everyone has a role to play in representing your brand, and they need to understand it to be able to do that effectively. It’s vital you set the brand definition from the top and then equip and enable your employees to communicate about your brand in a way that is comfortable and natural for them.
5 Build your brand with vision
It’s vital you build your brand to your vision and WITH vision.
PITFALLS TO AVOID
• Don’t be the business that does all the hard work to build your brand and then discover your brand can’t operate
in that new territory you want to expand into and you have to go through an exercise of re-branding. Consider your future and plan ahead, as much as possible.
• Don’t be the brand that doesn’t protect your brand IP. It’s an additional piece of work that should be considered an investment in your business. Protect your assets.
• Don’t build the brand and then leave it. Continue to monitor it and periodically review it, check it’s still fit for purpose. Even if your product or service has not fundamentally changed, something around your business will have, and you need to consider that change alongside your brand to stay relevant.
I trust reading this you’re inspired to develop and nurture your brand, and realise how taking a brand optimising approach can help you deliver a greater customer experience to ultimately help you attract, engage and win better business.
To start to discover how to unlock the potential of your brand, why not take our complimentary Marketing Performance Scorecard?