Marketing may contribute to your brand, but the brand is bigger than any particular marketing effort. The brand is what remains after the marketing has swept through the room. It’s what sticks in your mind associated with a product, service, or organization—whether or not, at that particular moment, you bought or did not buy.
Your brand is ultimately what determines if you will become a loyal customer or not. The marketing may convince you to buy a particular Toyota, and maybe it’s the first foreign car you ever owned, but it is the brand that will determine if you will only buy Toyotas for the rest of your life.
The brand is built from many things. Very important among these things is the lived experience of the brand. Did that car deliver on its brand promise of reliability? Did the maker continue to uphold the quality standards that made them what they are? Did the sales guy or the service center mechanic know what they were talking about?
Marketing unearths and activates buyers. Branding makes loyal customers, advocates, even evangelists, out of those who buy.
Is branding a cost center? On the surface, yes, but the return is loyalty. The return is sales people whose jobs are easier and more effective, employees who stay longer and work harder, customers who become ambassadors and advocates for the organization.
Your brand is your logo. Your website, packaging and promotional materials–all of which should integrate your logo–communicate your brand.
Get a great logo. Place it everywhere. Write down your brand messaging. What are the key messages you want to communicate about your brand? Every employee should be aware of your brand attributes. Integrate your brand. Branding extends to every aspect of your business–how you answer your phones, what you or your salespeople wear on sales calls, your e-mail signature, everything.Create a “voice” for your company that reflects your brand.
This voice should be applied to all written communication and incorporated in the visual imagery of all materials, online and off. Is your brand friendly? Be conversational. Is it ritzy? Be more formal. You get the gist. Develop a tagline. Write a memorable, meaningful and concise statement that captures the essence of your brand. Design templates and create brand standards for your marketing materials. Use the same color scheme, logo placement, look and feel throughout. You don’t need to be fancy, just consistent.
Be true to your brand. Customers won’t return to you–or refer you to someone else–if you don’t deliver on your brand promise. Be consistent. I placed this point last only because it involves all of the above and is the most important tip I can give you. If you can’t do this, your attempts at establishing a brand will fail.
What do your daily stats look like?
If you find Social Media Management is dividing your focus or that you do not have sufficient time and resources to manage YOUR BRAND, the valuable asset of your business, contact me. I make it my business to market your business.