Your brand is neither your logo nor tagline. It’s not the colors or words you use. Whether you like it or not, in many ways, your brand is the perception people have when they hear your name and how it reflects on your brand promise.
Upon hearing your name, if people think about how you can help them, and why you do it better than others, then you’ve done quite well. But, if your name triggers the wrong perceptions about your business, then you clearly have some work to do. If nothing comes to mind, then you’re missing an opportunity to distinguish your business from your rivals and gain a competitive edge.
Some businesses have a multitude of brands without realizing it. For example, if they have an over-aggressive salesperson who rubs people the wrong way, to that particular audience, that annoying salesperson is the company brand. If people think of the business owner as “a really nice guy,” but don’t know their company’s value statement and why they’re the better choice, then some retooling is most likely needed.
Remember, a great brand builds customer loyalty and brings non-tangible value to your business. So, making sure it sends the right message in the right words to the right audience is vital. And, enabling it to resonate throughout your organization and into the marketplace requires a calculated effort. It needs to be adopted by your staff, reflected through all of your communications, and creatively and strategically executed.
You all have to live it and breathe it. And, above all, you have to deliver the goods.
So, if you find yourself continually restating your promise or steering your audience away from false perceptions, then it’s time to take a step back and see where things have gone astray. And, that might just require the objectivity that can only come from outside of your organization.
The tagline is not about who you are or what you sell. It’s about them: your target audience. So, you better make sure it’s concise, direct and memorable, so they recall it the each time they hear your name.
The bankruptcy courts are full of great ideas that were undermined by ineffective branding and promotion. Build it and they will come? No, they won’t. Not unless you make them really want to. Or, better yet, need to.
The more experts you keep in your circle, the better you’ll be at determining your next great move. And, the better chance you’ll have that your crew will follow and grow with you.
If your branding efforts aren’t branching out beyond your customer base, you’re missing an opportunity for it to take root in areas where it can add real value to your business.