You have a business that you are proud of and there are so many challenging aspects to it: all the operational elements, staffing, human capital management, accounting, sales, and marketing. And they all need to function well to ensure business success and long-term vitality. But, one thing stands out: branding. Branding a business is not a small one-time “thing.” It needs to be a top-down and holistic passion for the whole organization. Howard Schultz, former Chairman of Starbucks, said, “Authentic brands don’t emerge from marketing cubicles or advertising agencies. They emanate from everything the company does.”
Business Versus Brand
Your business is the “bricks and mortar,” the products or services that you sell. You need to have a business to have a brand. Yet, the brand, as Schultz indicated, is the sum of everything about your business. Of course, it is your logo, your website, and your tagline. It is also your culture, your values, and mission, the way you do business. And, it includes your people, your pricing and the way you communicate. When a brand is put together well and maintained consistently, there is powerful leverage for the business!
5 Effective Branding Actions
Developing an effective comprehensive brand strategy involves these key actions:
- Defining your brand story: what you stand for, your mission and your primary values.
- Determining your position in the marketplace and how you will be different from competitors.
- Identifying your core customers in a way that you will really know your audience.
- Create the identity elements for your brand—logo, website, and major design elements such as those for signage and packaging.
- Codify the brand’s identity elements into a brand style guide. This forms a sort of “rulebook” for your team and others associated with your business to use to keep your brand representations correct and consistent. This will include:
- Approved logo variations
- Colors to be used
- The tone and “voice” of your communications
- Type fonts to be used
- Visual and imagery elements
Create each of the specific communication elements and platforms that your brand will employ. Focus on the elements most important to your customers. This will include social media pages, print advertising, business cards, etc.
Deliver your brand consistently. Teach your team to stay true to the brand. Protect your branding business elements legally and honor what the brand stands for. By doing so, you’ll gain the power and leverage of the brand.
For Branding Business Power Seek Expert Assistance
Contact visionPath Marketing, the branding, marketing strategy, and marketing systems experts, located in Charleston and Columbia, South Carolina. We’ll provide the thinking, strategies and synergistic systems that will help your brand succeed.