Do you ever feel like getting a cohesive brand message together can feel a bit like an Abbott and Costello routine – Who’s on brand? What’s our voice? How’s our message going to come across? Where’s the guy in charge of all this?
These are just a few of the litany of questions you can, and should, ask yourself when working on developing or revamping your company’s brand. But the first, most important question is often overlooked: What is a “brand” and what purpose does it serve?
While the instinct of most marketers today is to ensure your company has a brand, without a clear understanding of what a brand is and what it can do for you, you’ll be doomed to fail. Here are some simple, actionable tips to help you discern what should be a part of your brand and the brand development process:
You need a clear understanding of what your company is about.
Not just what you do or what products and services you offer, but what you’re like to do business with. In the process, you should try to pinpoint anything that differentiates you and makes you stand out from your competitors. Once you’re able to clearly articulate what your brand stands for and how it’s unique, you need to translate that information into three key areas: How your company looks, acts and sounds.
Your brand needs to be consistent across the board.
How your company looks, sounds, and acts needs to be appropriate for your brand and consistent at every touch point you have with your customers. Engage your creative team or agency, as well as your C-suite, and seek feedback from your customers. Making brand identity a goal—rather than a side project—can help align all the different players in a project like this.
- How your company looks: This includes every visual touchpoint, such as your logo, color palette, fonts, and content.
- How your company sounds: A strong brand voice helps you sound unique and gives a clear sense of what you’re like as a company – whether that’s smart and experienced, casual and conversational, or anything in between.
- How your company acts: Whether it’s what your company is like to work for or what role it plays in the broader community, your company’s actions can help shape public perception just as much, if not more, than your products and services.
Document your new brand guidelines.
Every nitty-gritty detail that could be open to interpretation needs to be included. Common over-looked items include brand name and spelling, font colors, background colors, proper logo usage, examples of copy in your brand voice, how your company responds to client complaints, and where your company stands on important issues in your industry. The bigger your team is, the more important it is that these guidelines are shared so your brand is consistent everywhere. These internal discussions about how your company looks, sounds and acts will lead to becoming a strong brand.
So, why is this important?
Strong brands not only stand out from their competitors, they’re the reason why we admire companies and choose to do business with them again and again. In fact, 60 percent of B2B buyers say that they’re more likely to purchase from a brand that they know and feel a connection with, even if it costs more.
Source: Betting on your Brand: Using the trifecta of content, media and events to build a winning tech brand, UBM/MarketingProfs, July 2016