It attracts more of your best customers and inspires fierce loyalty.
It also informs company culture, both captivating and retaining the best talent.
Effective branding goes far beyond just a logo or other visual identity assets. A sound brand strategy can cement your brand as a viable business asset that directly increases your value to investors.
It can be difficult to determine from the inside, but if you consider these next three points and you can’t emphatically say …
Then you may need to consider investing in developing your brand.
Having a clearly defined message and creating standards that take into account all the ways your brand will be visually communicated ensures that you will avoid the cardinal sin of confusing your customer.
The worst thing your brand can do is set expectations with your promised values and fail to follow through with significant action.
When you promise a creative and forward thinking outlook but your employees work in a dark and dated office, it’s a non-starter.
Consider this same dynamic as if your brand and your customer go on a first date. Imagine your brand promises in their online dating profile that they’re light hearted and fun, but over dinner never even cracks a smile? Would you be surprised to see that customer decline a second date?
If you fail at consistency and follow-through you risk being seen as yet another business that makes promises backed by nothing but hot air and dust bunnies.
A sage and friendly teacher is still memorable. A wise and attentive teacher that guides their students through those particularly murky seasons of life can leave an impression on them that lasts a lifetime.
Having a remarkable personality is more about how you make people feel at the end of the day. Quirky might inspire joy, but friendly and thoughtful might inspire peace, or strong and action-oriented might inspire confidence and a can-do attitude.
Their focus on mindset and making small changes over time has built appeal with their core demographic of busy millennial women. Most independent reviews of the app’s paid coaching program state that, as a user, they finally felt empowered to develop healthy long term habits compared to competitor programs.
Now, what actions are you going to take that, all combined, are going to make that feeling a reality of every interaction any person- customer, vendor or employee, has with your business?
A lot of decisions around branding are made based off the founder’s personal preferences, or what a marketing team suggests will stand out amongst competitors’ advertisements.
You risk marketing, sales, human resources, customer service all becoming so disjointed from one another that there is no chance to establish consistency.
When considering crafting a strategy that informs how your brand will interact in every facet of your business, you must first clearly define the goals you’re trying to reach.
… are all directly contributing to accomplishing those business goals.
Too often businesses see their brand as a necessary tool for marketing and advertising but fail to capitalize on building it up as the operational foundation that it should be.
For five years running, the outdoor lifestyle brand REI, has opted to close all its stores on Black Friday, giving all employees a paid day off to spend outdoors.
This is a big action they take to follow through on their tagline:
This decision to close on the biggest shopping day of the year in favor of standing behind their values has inspired strong loyalty in their core customer base. And that loyalty has elevated positive awareness of their brand as well as their sales over the rest of the year.
Can you state exactly how your brand is supporting your business goals and connecting with your customers?
If not, you need to take a step back and remember why you started this all in the first place, build a strategy off of that why that informs every facet of your business and your brand will be all the more valuable for it.
If your brand lacks true consistency, memorability and a sound strategy, you will find it rather useless.
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