Building a Powerful, Effective Brand Identity
Every business has a brand, whether it develops that brand intentionally or not. Taking charge of a brand means tuning it and using it to better achieve business goals. There are many effective ways to build, shape, or benefit from an improved brand.
Analyzing Your Industry, Market, and Competition
Learning from what the competition has already tried can be just as effective. Whether through success or failure, competitors reveal with their own activities facts that can be leveraged to create a stronger, more effective brand. That can mean anything from addressing a common complaint among customers to shaping a brand to ward off likely future threats. In every case, learning more pays off.
Aligning Your Brand with the Things That Make Your Business Tick
Just as learning about the business environment makes for a more potent brand, so does seeking to highlight the things that make a company special. A brand that does not reinforce the unique value a company represents will always be something like an illusion. Thinking about how to use its brand to emphasize the features that make a company stand out will make the whole more complete and self-reinforcing.
As a result, customers will experience a brand as an organic extension of the company they engage with. Achieving this means keeping close track of what branding efforts actually accomplish, with any deviation from desired results signaling the need for adjustment. When all the elements are acting in harmony, customers experience a brand as something with a distinctive, definite value of its own, and loyalty always follows.
While tactical corrections can be valuable, it will sometimes make sense to look for even more fundamental ways of improving. Brand Identity and Strategy that remain too static for too long can be sapped of power, and seeking fresh new angles can make the difference.
This might mean thinking about how the market or the competition have evolved since a brand first took on a life of its own. Refreshing a brand means not only retargeting it to account for the contemporary environment but also gaining renewed attention from customers and others as well. Acting in impulsive, senseless ways could just as well undo past work, so plenty of discernment and discipline are required.
Conceiving and Sustaining Consistent, Brand-Enhancing Messaging
Building any strong brand, in fact, takes plenty of commitment and insight. Even with a strong Brand Strategy in place, following through is never to be taken for granted.
Developing clear-cut standards for messaging that reinforce and cultivate a brand is often the best way of making sure a strong strategy translates into action. The consistency such efforts encourage give customers confidence and make mistakes far less likely. Messaging that comes from a place of suitably inspired discipline also builds up a momentum that reveals new opportunities along the way.
Brand Identity and Strategy are two major parts of the picture, with the activities and results that follow completing the scene. All four elements must be understood and mastered to ensure success.
The identity of a brand begins as an aspiration, albeit one informed by research, business goals, and tough decisions about what to prioritize. It proceeds from the reality of what a company is and envisions how it might most productively be seen by others. An identity is a goal of the most comprehensive kind, encompassing everything a company strives for.
With the lighthouse of an identity waiting on the horizon, a strategy charts the course for getting there. That means laying out concrete goals of more particular sorts so intermediate progress can be measured. An effective strategy keeps everything that follows coordinated and aligned, just as the pursuit of an identity motivates the strategy itself.
With an identity-focused strategy in place, particular tactics become the means of developing toward the goal. A well-formed strategy will suggest what needs to be done next, but looking deeply into which concrete marketing efforts will pay off the most can be valuable, as well. From tuning graphical assets to refining messaging standards, this is where much of the toughest work gets done.
As the reach of a brand builds, its true nature starts to become clear. A growing gap between the observed image of a brand among customers and the identity that is the goal could be a reason to rethink a strategy. Lack of progress toward a particular strategic milestone might mean that existing tactics need to be rethought. The proof and value of a brand are in the minds of others, so knowing what they really think is important.
Taking control of a brand is what matters the most, and there are plenty of effective tools for doing so. By accepting the responsibility of formulating, developing, and refining a brand, any company or organization can produce durable, significant results and brand-derived momentum that creates new opportunities on its own.