What is a Brand?
A brand is much more than a logo and a tagline. It’s the collection of all the experiences and ideas associated with your product. It may also refer to an organization, product or solution, of course. When you think of it that way, a brand is much more than a logo and a tagline. It represents an emotional connection. That connection exists in the mind of the consumer.
What is Branding?
Branding is the process that helps you clarify and come to an agreement on all the aspects of your brand. You may own your logo, but you don’t own your brand – your customers do. That’s why it’s important to clearly understand your brand. That way you can better convey that message to your customers.
Branding shapes the way you communicate, both to external audiences and within the organization. It helps key stakeholders get a better understanding of things like:
- Your brand’s benefits
- What you’re promising your customers
- Your organization’s purpose
Branding provides you with a strong set of core messages to use as a basis of all your messaging. It also provides you with the tone of voice and visual identity you’ll use.
When to Rebrand? 8 Questions to Ask
Some organizations wonder about the value of brand discovery. Have a look at the 8 questions below. Would the key stakeholders give the same answers? What about your customers?
- Think about the following, what is your value proposition?
- What is your company promise?
- Who is your target audience?
- Does your company have a clear mission? If so, what is it?
- Can you define the personality of your brand?
- What are your organization’s values?
- What are the top 3 benefits to customers?
- What’s your “elevator pitch?” In straightforward terms, what does your brand do and why is it better?
When your brand is strong, you can develop more focused messaging. When your message is focused, your customers will better understand what you are offering.
How to Get Started with Branding Your Business?
We recommend you work with an external vendor that is fluent in the art of branding. It’s pretty darn hard to be objective about your own organization. Research their process and what deliverables they’ll provide before you buy-in (it’s also helpful to get a few soft promises if at all possible!).
Dos and Don’ts
- Do: Be true to your brand in everything you do. It will help build customer loyalty. And of course, customer loyalty helps the bottom line.
- Do: Include key stakeholders from a variety of business areas. This approach will provide greater insight from more perspectives. It will also give you a wider base of consensus from which to go forward.
- Do: Build your brand around your functional and emotional attributes and your vision for success. The discovery process results in messaging and concepts that are specific to your organization. Use them!
- Do: Be sure to share what you have discovered with employees and partners. Talk about the process it took to get there and make sure they know how they can help the overall company succeed.
- Do: Identify brand champions who will ensure it remains consistent and true. Work to create a corporate culture that embodies the brand and what it represents. Create a style guide. It will provide a road map for everyone who develops visuals and messaging.
- Don’t: Try to be something that you’re not. Customers have more access to your brand than ever before. They can tell if something doesn’t seem authentic.
- Don’t: Limit your efforts to just the marketing team. It’s critical to involve key organizational stakeholders to make sure you consider all perspectives.
- Don’t: Copy your competition. It may be tempting but remember: you are not your competition. They may not even be doing it right, anyway – maybe you could do it better! Your organization has something unique to offer. Its’ attributes, values, and personality are specific to you. Your message and position will be quite different.
- Don’t: Roll out your brand without the support of your entire organization.
- Don’t: Abandon your new brand. Once you’ve finished the discovery process, you’ve just begun! You’ve got the beginnings a brand that aligns with who you are and where you’re going as an organization. Don’t set it free and expect that it will do its job unaided.