Branding is all the buzz and has been for some time, but branding can be confusing. What exactly is a brand? And how do you come up with your brand?
Let me answer by saying what a brand isn’t.
Your brand isn’t your logo, your colors, your fonts, or your website. These are simply reflections of your brand. Furthermore, you don’t “come up with” a brand—you uncover it. It’s what is real, honest, and believable about your organization or product.
It’s your DNA.
A brand also is the sum total of all associations made with an organization or product. It’s the good, the bad, and the ugly—the attributes that are called to mind when one thinks of your organization or product.
Every organization has existing brand associations it wants to emphasize, maintain, and even possibly lose. Brand development moves you from your current brand to your desired brand. And to be successful, your desired brand must be in sync with your organization’s values, vision, passion, and purpose.
Differentiation and Integration
There are two key principles of brand development: differentiation and integration.
- Differentiation suggests that the only sustainable market position is one in which you are offering something significantly different from and better than your competitors. These differentiators must evolve from current brand associations and be infused into the customer’s experience in real ways to be credible.
Only through research can we can identify an organization’s current brand associations and relevant differentiators—along with understanding client/customer needs and perceptions.
- Integration means all marketing communications and activities reinforce the same core differentiators. In other words, integration requires that the organization is using one clearly defined voice across the board and up and down the line.
An organization’s brand should drive marketing strategies and all business decisions and give the organization something to live up to. For example, Apple invests millions of dollars annually to showcase its brand of innovation and high design. And Zappos’ entire culture is created to live its brand of happy employees, which leads to great customer service (and significant profits).
When your people are living your brand, their personal values are in sync with the company’s. They are happier, more productive, and your best ambassadors. Involve them from the start; get clear on values, vision, passion, and purpose; walk the talk; and enjoy your success!
Uncover Your Brand
If you are ready to uncover your brand and solidify your company culture, give us a call at 541.601.0114 or contact us today. Let Capiche help you take your organization to the next level!