Brand like you mean it…
Authenticity above all
In these days of multiplying social media channels, ‘second screen’ interfaces, memes and niche communities, it is easy to forget that there are still some fundamental truths about dealing with the brand of your business. After all, branding is not magic, it’s just a mix of common sense, creativity and enough perspective to see the wood for the trees (or the brand for the brand guidelines).
To give a brief summary of how to look at the key issues: if your brand…
- Has a form matching function (e.g. a multinational shouldn’t look like a local shop, a local craft business shouldn’t look mass produced)
A well crafted visual identity will give the right impression, ensure consistency and professionalism across the organisation
Is accurate about what it says and does (be truthful, don’t hide from the facts)
Clear, accurate information based on facts, research and company expertise will create valuable content you can use and talk about with your customers
- Is memorable (for the right reasons)
A creative approach to presentation, from visuals to tone of voice, packaging to advertising, will make people remember you at the point of purchase.
- Is engaging in the way that customers relate to and can tell stories about why it is what it is
Lastly, a real engagement and dialogue with the consumer is the unique opportunity of digital media (oh, and it’s also quantifiable, which helps ROI).
Then it has passed the ‘FAME’ test and will be a real asset to your company, and also resilient to change and a driver of strategic growth. Typically, companies that consistently invest in their brand grow at double the rate of those that don’t, whatever size they are.
At Silverleaf we use a slightly more complex set of criteria* to assess the strength of a brand and where attention should be focussed for improvements. But however you assess your brand as an asset, remember that your competitors will be doing some of the right things, but rarely all of them, which could give you an advantage.
Remember, people like stories more than brands, and stories that are clearly told and come from the heart even more, so if you want your business to be FAME-ous, make sure you deliver on these four points, if nothing else.
* originally based on a Harvard Business School methodology, but have adapted it ‘in the field’ to be even more useful