The importance of diagnosing and servicing its performance.
How is your brand currently performing? Is it humming along in 5th or 6th gear, or is it stuck in neutral, not really knowing its intended power, capacity and the direction it should take? Are the characteristics of your brand aligned to your latest business objectives? And have you accurately determined the best way to “accelerate” them?
Like any vehicle, high performance or pragmatic and reliable, brands need to be diagnosed and serviced from time-to-time. When was the last time you lifted up the hood on yours? Is your brand fresh, expressive, and resonating with those audiences you most strategically want to connect with? Are your current brand assets contemporary in both meaning and aesthetic, or do they look worn out, even posing a liability when you communicate with your customers? Many times, Principals and Marketing Directors are so busy just trying to keep their brand running, that they rarely assess the performance and style (design aesthetic) it conveys to their audiences.
Our brands are vehicles in which we deliver trust to our customers. A brand’s assets provide any organization a clear road map of knowing where to go with all future marketing and new business initiatives. They build strength and assuredness, externally as well as creating greater employee morale internally. Even more than the type of vehicles we drive, brands are an extension of our personalities, of who we are – to ourselves and to our customers.
Are your brand assets currently performing effectively? Are they in need of a tune-up, or is it time to trade in the old model and upgrade to an entirely new one with more horsepower, greater reliability, or more accurately, one that your customer wants to get behind and drive? At Blik, we believe brands should garner attention, that their message should outperform the competition, and that they generate memorable experiences in the eyes of your customers.
When was the last time you had your brand serviced? For free (brand audit) diagnostics, call Blik today.
The Importance of Being Earnest About Your Brand
Nowadays every business, every organization, exclaims “branding” in their pursuits of marketing, sales, new business development, or even building employee morale. Yet inherently, their definitions of what a brand is and how they orchestrate them, are all too often quite different in their approach, how they’re applied and more importantly, how they evolve.
It’s really quite simple. Before any organization pronounces a brand or refreshes an old one, they need to understand and embrace the criteria, structure, and vehicles that will successfully articulate and communicate its features. As I have taught my upper-division Branding class students, if you embrace these straightforward precepts, you’ll be well on your way of creating and implementing a successful brand.
Clarify Your Strategy.
Any brand initiative should start with a brand audit and end with a summary of your intentions. This should include a history of your organization, any market research, interview of key stakeholders, and having it culminate into a written brand brief. Your brief becomes the foundation from which you visually articulate your organization and why you exist.
Creatively Define Your Brand’s Assets.
Your brand is not just your identity. Your brand is comprised of various visual components (assets) that cumulatively portray the image and message of your organization. These assets can always be categorized in the following manner: Your identity system; Photographs and/or Illustrations; Typography; Color Palette; Pattern or Textures; Key (Brand) Message Points. Create flexibility with your assets. This positions your business for change and growth and supports evolving market strategies.
Identify Your Brand Touchpoints.
Once you’ve refined your brand assets, you want to determine how and to what mediums (touchpoints) they will be applied. Create a wish list of where your brand messaging should reside. Your website is a given, most likely your business cards too, but what forms of brand communication are most appropriate for you organization? Print collateral? Advertising? Packaging? eNewsletters and Social media? Your office or store interiors? Your uniforms, signage, etc. all play an important (touchpoint) role in connecting your brand with those audiences you intend to reach. Be consistent in the way your clients experience your brand touchpoints, so they feel familiar with your brand.
Implement & Manage Your Brand.
Successful brands require enlightened leadership and commitment. You can have a great brand, but if it’s not managed properly, if the actual implementation is weak, you’ll never be able to generate the traction and therefore memorability of your organization’s brand. Everyone has a budget to work within. Identify your most important touchpoints. Based on your budget, develop an implementation strategy that provides the most direct and effective coverage your brand’s message. Review their effectiveness regularly. Evolve your brand with new campaigns that identify various attributes of who you are as an organization. If needed, adjust the ‘where’ and ‘how often’ your brand is conveyed within your respective marketplaces.
Whether they are true in reality, or not, market perceptions drive the success of any business. Your brand drives those perceptions. Don’t portray the obvious or cliché. Be distinctive about who you are and what you represent to your clientele. An appetition for research, smart creative processes, passion, and innovative technology, even humor are all effective components in creating and implementing enduring value to your brand.