Fresh Focuses to Guide Your Brand Building This Year
marketing | 6 minutes read | 4 months ago | 93 views
If you're like most marketers and business owners, you've probably spent a significant amount of time and energy on your brand. You've thought about what it means to your business, developed a positioning statement and elevator pitch for it, and maybe even created a logo that represents your company's values. But have you ever stopped to ask yourself if these things are still relevant? The truth is that brand building is evolving—and if you don't evolve with it, then your brand could fall behind the competition by making some mistakes we see all too often. Here are some common pitfalls of an outdated approach to branding:
Branding is evolving, and you need to evolve with it.
Branding is a process. Not a product.
We often think of a brand as a product—something we can slap on top of what we’re doing to make our business more attractive and relevant in the marketplace. But branding isn’t just about changing up your logo or getting new packaging; it’s about changing up everything you do as an organization, from how you communicate with customers, to how you talk about yourself internally, and even down to how your team members interact with each other on Slack. Branding is all about building relationships—with customers, investors and employees alike
Your logo is not your brand.
Your logo is not your brand. The graphic symbol you've chosen to represent your product or service is a great start, but it's not the end of the story. A logo is just one component of a much larger whole that represents your company identity in a way that can change over time as you grow and evolve as an organization. That's why it's essential for marketers to understand the distinction between their logo and their overall branding efforts—and what other elements contribute to this bigger picture of how consumers perceive their product or service offerings.
A good place to start with this distinction is by understanding what each term means:
Brand: An emotional connection with customers based on the perception of the quality, value, and trustworthiness associated with products from specific brands (such as Apple). Your brand should stand out from competitors' offerings in some way so that consumers will be more likely to purchase yours instead (for example, Starbucks has created an image around coffee as being "the third place" people go after work.)
Logo: A visual representation of your company's name or brand promise; can include text but doesn't necessarily have any meaning beyond being associated with only one business at one point in time (for example, Mcdonald's uses their golden arches logo).
Build your brand from the inside out.
When you think about your brand, what's the first thing that comes to mind? The logo? Your website? Your social media presence?
While these are all important aspects of your brand, they don't tell the whole story. In fact, a strong brand is much more than just your logo (although obviously, it plays an important role).
Branding starts with developing an authentic story and positioning yourself in the market as part of that story. But there are many other factors involved in building a great brand: the experience customers have when they interact with you; the values behind what makes you who you are; how people feel when they're around or interact with someone who represents your organization; what drives decisions within businesses and organizations; whether or not products/services align with those values. All these things matter — they go into making up what makes up a company's personality.
So how do we start building this from within ourselves as leaders of our companies?
You will never have 100% brand awareness.
You will never have 100% brand awareness.
Brand awareness is a never-ending process, not a one-time deal.
Brand awareness is not just about logo recognition, it’s also about the quality of your product or service, and how well those two play together in the minds of consumers and potential customers. This includes things like customer experience, advertising campaigns, and all other marketing activities related to building brand equity over time (not just at launch).
Brand awareness isn’t just about your company/brand itself – it’s also about associations consumers make with that brand when they think about who you are and what value you provide them as a business leader in their lives (or businesses). The more recognizable these associations are among people who matter most to you (customers) the better chance there is for them to connect with what makes working with/buying from/investing in this company worthwhile!
Brand strategy isn't a one-time deal.
One of the most common misconceptions about brand strategy is that it's a one-time deal. Your brand isn't a logo or tagline, or color scheme; it's the sum of all of these things, as well as how you think, act and behave every day.
It's important to remember that your brand strategy isn't just a logo or tagline; it's also how you think, act and behave every day. When thinking about what makes up your company's identity—the colors used in collateral materials like brochures and business cards; the language used on social media profiles; even things like office décor—it's important to keep in mind how these choices will affect both current customers as well as prospects who receive an impression of your business through those channels (and many other touchpoints).
Remember that building a brand is just like building a relationship—take it slow and make sure you're starting off on the right foot.
If you’re new to the world of branding, it can be hard to know where to start. There are so many different frameworks for thinking about how to build a brand, and some of them seem more complicated than others. But we want you to remember one thing: brands are people too—and in fact, they can be even more complex than most people!
So instead of trying one method at a time, why not try all five? That’s right—these days there are plenty of ways for you to approach building your personal or business brand—you just have to find the right fit for your specific needs.
If you think about it, this is just like dating someone (or not dating someone). Some people prefer slow-and-steady relationships over whirlwind romances; others like to go through several partners before settling down with someone who shares their values and interests; still, others prefer casual encounters that keep things lighthearted and don't require any commitment whatsoever. And that's okay! Everyone has their own preferences when it comes down to it...
Changing the way you think about your brand and its development is a challenge, but it's also an opportunity. Your brand should be an extension of who you are as an individual or business, so take time to make sure you're building something that reflects that. Think about how each piece of your visual identity could be interpreted by others—and make sure it's something good!
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