Reap the benefits of branding
Five things you must do
1. Practice inside-out branding
Brands originate from inside organisations. NB The customer is still in charge and is the final arbiter of what the brand stands for.
Every person needs to get what the brand is about, from purpose through to behaviours and importantly they need to understand what their roles are in delivering the brand.
The way in which people inside interact with those on the outside, determines the quality of the brand experience.
Get this wrong and you’ll become an also-brand.
2. Make each brand touchpoint count
How many opportunities are there for people to experience your brand? It’s a long list. Name, logo, website, chat, check out, social media, word of mouth, test drives, face-to-face, events, blog, branded environments, reception, the warehouse, site visits, reviews, signage, emails, media, advertising – and we’re not even halfway there.
The point is brand building is a cumulative process of hundreds of interactions, many of them small, seemingly insignificant and others that have a lot at stake. They all contribute to creating a positive reputation, profitable associations, trust and competitiveness.
3. Talk to your customers, clients and employees as if they are real people
We’re all P2P organisations. A bit trite I know, but we sell stuff to people who have needs, unfulfilled desires, joy in their lives, stroppy teenagers, crap going on etc.
What am I saying? Have conversations, but don’t drown them in words; be empathetic, without getting familiar; talk less about your services and products and more about their needs and how you will meet them.
4. Live your purpose
A purpose declares why you do what you do. It states how you are going to make a difference in the world. It’s about standing up for a belief that will improve peoples’ lives.
And the purpose of a purpose? It signals your difference, increases brand awareness, develops strong cultures and develops deeper emotional connections with clients, consumers, partners and employees.
5. Set your brand free
What do I mean by this? You’ve gotta spend some money. Building a successful brand requires expertise and experience. It requires a framework that is strategic, creative and structured, which is expressed with a big idea and beautiful, smart design. Viewed in this way, branding and design are professional services. That’s the first part of adequately resourcing your brand.
The second part is getting it out there. Brands need to be promoted, communicated, experienced and maintained. Branding can’t be treated as a one-off exercise. It needs to be viewed as a never-ending process and it needs to be resourced accordingly.
Do these five things and your brand will be able see around corners, bench press its own body weight, travel at the speed of sound, turn heads when it walks down the street, have the energy of an 8-year old and possess the wisdom of a kuia.
And there are also some other benefits which I’ll talk about when we meet next.