Three ways your brand is more than just your logo
A brand is just a logo – isn’t it?
Not at all!
Branding is effective because there’s so much more to it than simply your logo. Combined with great marketing, a powerful brand can differentiate you from your competitors and kick your perceived value up dramatically, to the point where consumers see you as the answer for your industry’s need.
Here are three key elements that play into how people perceive your brand:
Visual Identity & Personality
Do you look the part? Are you authentic in your looks and message in a way that’s meaningful to your core audience? When developing your visual identity, if elements look like they don’t quite fit or match the expectations of your audience, you are reducing your opportunity for engagement with your brand. Although they will say otherwise, consumers don’t think rationally about purchases. They are driven by emotion and connection, and by something that feels comfortable but offers a different point of view, or one that’s shifted along with them from where the industry was to where the industry is now. Which brings us to our second point of perception:
Unique Sales Proposition
How are you different from everyone out there? Quality and price aren’t what we want to be looking at for a unique sales proposition. We want to know what your core values as a company are, and what makes you the best choice, given a wide range of choices in today’s marketplace. Sell on price and you risk low loyalty customers who jump to the next company as soon as they start undercutting you. Instead, build value and show the values and ideas that you provide that are different from what every other company out there offers, and you will find that your customer base connects with you on a deeper level than price. Is Apple® the cheapest answer for mobile devices and smartphones? Of course not. They succeed because they have developed a product ecosystem and a brand attitude that leverages the values of accessible technology, modern style, fun, clean design… and the list goes on.
Brand Promise & Customer Experience
Finally, successful brands look at one other key point as they work through branding and brand marketing projects: What is their brand promise? How are they developing expectations for their product or service, and what steps are they following through on to meet and exceed those expectations. Brand promise is all about the state of mind of your leadership. From the top down, your leaders and your team needs to be understanding what drives engagement in your company’s brand, and what they need to do each and every day to achieve the goal of furthering engagement. Often this can be one of the most difficult pieces of a brand to adjust, especially if a staff is used to a single way of doing things and now needs to consider a shift in what they represent. One of the biggest mistakes I see in brands is putting out messaging and visual images for one sort of expectation (we are all about X!), but in execution from the staff the customer only feels like they received 1/2 X, or worse, “Y” – something completely different from what was laid out in the messaging. If you’ve earned a customer’s business once, make sure their expectations are being met, and that they feel that they’re receiving an authentic and consistent experience with your brand. Take it a step further and try adding value each time they touch your brand – from branded materials to customer service to the PR they read about you in trade publications – and you will create a brand that sells itself.
Your Brand is Many Things
There are several more brand factors that we look at when analyzing and developing a brand; these are three of the biggest elements. By the nature of having a business, you have a brand whether you want to or not. Your customers and prospects assign value to your company based on your brand, and if you’re not controlling the message, your brand will be defined for you! Keep these three major elements in mind as you think about how to move your branding and marketing forward and you too can develop a brand that your audience will love.