Your business has a brand — one that is tied to your reputation and part of your future success. Whether or not you’re nurturing your brand is another story.
Some people mistakenly think that a brand is a logo but that is not the case. While your logo is an important element of your brand, it’s much broader than that. Your brand is actually made up of everything about your business, from past and present customer experiences, service quality, market status and product/service value to every public and private interaction you have ever had.
How your brand is perceived is also impacted by your paid, owned, shared and earned media efforts, and yes your logo. An effective brand takes time, backed by strategy and consistent implementation to influence how people feel about you and how they make decisions to engage or not engage with you.
Here are three tips for maintaining your brand expression and identity:
- Define your brand strategy. Understanding the good, the bad and the ugly of how you are perceived is the starting point to determine what you need to do to influence brand perceptions. Talk to your associates. Survey your customers. Learn from your target market. Formal and informal research can help you understand challenges and identify opportunities where your brand programming can leverage your reputation and set you apart. Creating a formal brand platform can take many shapes and forms, but putting it down on paper and sharing it with your associates is critical.
- Be consistent. Make sure your messaging and programming is expressed in a uniform manner that is attractive to your audiences, whether serious, clever or educational. Your “brand voice” should exude a consistent personality that reflects your attitude and approach to business. Consistency is also critical in every aspect of outreach, from sales and marketing to customer service, to ensure that you meet expectations and support your brand at every turn.
- Get the whole team on board. This is a crucial step to ensure that your brand is authentic and “sticks.” Your employees deliver your brand experience, so if they don’t understand it — or worse, don’t believe in it — there’s no way your customers will either. A successful brand has buy-in from every team member, from the bottom to the top, and is delivered confidently at all levels.
Building and maintaining your brand reputation may seem like a daunting task, but the payoff will yield results. If your company is struggling to focus your brand and get back on track, FrazierHeiby can help. Sign your team up for a day at our BrandCamp to align your brand programming for maximum impact.
What are some struggles you’ve faced in building your brand? We’d love to hear in the comments below!