It is what drives you and it’s what you stand for.
It’s also what differentiates you from the competition (a point that cannot be underestimated as more and more similar products flood the market and competitors continue to innovate).
Your brand is the emotion behind what you offer.
This is significant because most, if not all decisions we make, are based on emotion.
That is why when you, your employees, partners and customers look at your brand, it is essential they have a positive emotional response to it. Because when you get it right the rewards can be enormous.
But there are a few things you need to do to help you get your brand there. And the first (let’s call it point 0) is to look at branding as NOT marketing (it’s far more than a new logo and exciting marketing campaign) but about meaning… about being able to truly answer:
- Who you are.
- Why you are there.
- What you offer/do that is unique.
- Why everyone should care (you, your employees, your partners, your customers).
So, let’s take a quick look at 7 things you can start thinking about today to help power your brand.
1. GET PERSONAL
Your brand is your story and it is the one thing nobody else has. By being able to clearly and confidently answer ‘who you are’ you’ll find it far easier to build your brand and gather like-minded people along the way.
TIP: Consider asking your employees (and yourself) to write down their thoughts on ‘who we are’. You may be surprised by the answers.
2. BE UNIQUE
Whether you produce or offer something that is truly unique or you do something unique with what others have, the point is simple… stand out, be different. By defining exactly what your business (and you) ‘really’ cares about you’ll have a true differentiator to build your brand around.
TIP: Ask yourself this question: What ‘verb’ is my business? If Samsung challenges and Google innovates… what does your brand do?
3. STAY CONSISTENT
It will help build confidence and trust for your brand and ultimately, the more consistent your brand is, the more recognisable it will become and the more people will associate what you offer with your brand.
4. STAY FRESH
Constantly look at what your consumers are doing and what they want. You can then find specific and appropriate ways to connect with them, such as investing in social media channels, new marketing strategies, offering new / updated products, constantly revisiting your brand strategies, etc.
5. BE MEMORABLE
That is, create a strong emotion. Consumers will remember your great story, your unique promise, far longer than a series of ‘logical’ bullet points highlighting the features of your product. Then make sure you stay consistent and ‘on brand’.
TIP: Seriously consider bringing in a dedicated ‘brand champion’ (chief brand officer) to oversee the day-to-day quality control/advocacy and innovation of your brand.
6. BE RELEVANT
Closely identify your audience, their culture, their values, where they live (online and off) and even their language. Make sure you target your marketing at areas and in ways that have meaning to them.
Basically, be everywhere your customers are. If they use tablets, so should you, if they want Apps, develop them, etc.
TIP: Keep your brand marketing responsive and sharable, content-rich and relevant.
7. GET PASSIONATE!
Ask yourself the following question: If you don’t believe in your brand, if you aren’t emotional about it, why should anyone else be?
As important as all the studies, data collection, strategic initiatives and a million other things you do to quantify and guide your brand, it all needs your… and every single employees’… passion to truly work.
If you find you aren’t able to (or cannot) show emotion and excitement when talking about your brand, you need to sit back, take some time, and focus on what you truly care about. Then rework that back into your brand. Give everyone a reason to believe.
Powering your brand doesn’t mean throwing out what exists, it means giving true focus and time to the things that are important and that will build brand recognition and insistence – while removing or changing what is not resonating with you or your customers. Because by building the value of your brand, you’ll also be building the long-term value of your business.
Author: Paul Treleaven