Ornit Sade-Benkin I Stratigo Brandmakers
People think that branding is a logo. Well, it is far more than that! Branding is everything; from how the secretary answers the phone to the way you pack your products, your positioning, the values of your company and the promise you bring to your customers. Branding is everything!.
We brand everything – people, cities, products, services. We even brand ourselves on a daily basis – the way we talk, how we speak, the music we listen to…it is all branding. It helps us deliver a message!
A ‘brand aligned enterprise’ has a clear corporate promise, customized messages across target audiences and a consistent and recognizable visual and verbal brand language.
The brand is an evolution. It starts from the very first step you do as a person, firm, company or enterprise. You always start with something and evolve with the time. At the end, your brand is your personality. So it depends on what you did over the time and how much time you invested in creating a certain impression. Building and developing your brand identity is a constant effort that should be well aligned with your goals and activities.
Your Brand Requires Your Attention
So whether you are a startup that is doing its first steps in the business world or a well-established enterprise, your brand requires your attention. So what is it that you need to look at? Here are a few things we do, when we required to build a new brand or re-brand an existing organization:
- Research and Analysis – first you need to look at your environment and your current perception with wide open eyes. How other perceive your brand? What message you deliver? How consistent you are? What your competitors do? Is your brand aligned with your business goals? What your customers think of your brand?
is it aligned with what you want them to think? All these questions should be investigated and analyzed in a very structured process that will ultimately define your brand strategy.
- Positioning – Brand positioning is vital to strategy development. Unique value proposition, differentiation attributes and market positioning are subsequent of the marketing message to be developed. Your positioning is your strategy – this is where I want to be and what do I have to offer.
- Brand hierarchy and Offering– Understand the market category you are playing in and clearly defining your offering help you to describe the brand hierarchy that will ultimately be reflected in various tools – website, collateral, presentations, and more. Your offering should be clear and strong: This is what your customers are looking at – what is it for you to offer? Does it answer their needs?
- Messaging – What message you want to convey? Why? Is it clearly defined? Your message should be clear, direct and above all, it should be consistent. These are the words you use to describe your firm and you offering. It is the translation of your strategy, positioning and offering into words. Developing the brand messaging is the baseline for all marketing activities – once those content repositories are completed you will be using them in all your communication channels.
- Visual Identity – Bringing the brand to life! The visual identity – expressed in the logo, colors, typography, and overall look and feel – forms the face of the brand. As the most tangible elements of the brand, you need to ensure these visual elements deliver the brand promise and communicating what words alone cannot.
- Communication – Now that your overall strategy and visual identity are structured, defined and aligned, you can start working. Your communication strategy and infrastructure are essential for successful branding work. Which communication channels you are using? Are these relevant to your brand? How often you use them? All these define your communication strategy and using the assets developed in previous phases, will help you to successfully and consistently communicate you brand internally and externally.
How to build a successful marketing infrastructure that helps you work effectively and efficiently…. stay tuned!