What is a brand?
Before diving into the reasons and methods behind protecting your brand’s authenticity, one first must understand what a brand actually is. A brand is not merely your logo, or even your brand mark and slogan/tagline.
It is the union between the emotion, the understanding and the ideals behind your brand. Great brands are lenses through which we can view better versions of ourselves.
It has been said that customers do not buy what you do (the product or service). Rather, they buy why you do it.
Apple, to cite the most popular example, does not offer their computers as simply products. What the tech-giant really offers is a chance for us to see ourselves as creative, innovative, independent, and current. Now whether or not all of these attributes are truly synonymous with Apple, the point is the company has been able to accomplish this perception through a series of masterful marketing campaigns.
Branding and marketing - what’s the difference?
Branding and marketing are not the same.
While branding is the strategic plan, marketing is the consequential and tactical effort behind your idea. When most people think of brand positioning they think of where their company is positioned in the market in relation to their competitors.
The term ‘brand positioning’ actually refers to where your company is positioned in the minds and perceptions of your customers. This is accomplished through brand character development.
Brand character is not the 'what' or 'how' of the product or service. It is again, the ‘why'.
It is important to ask yourself the question, what is the understood character of my brand versus what do I want my brand character to be? Is your desired character one of strength, stability and trust? Or is the tone you are trying to convey to consumers more playful and lighthearted? Maybe it is one of vision and forward-thinking.
Whatever your brand’s character, remember it must remain a constant. Every time a perspective user or customer hears your brand’s voice through your marketing efforts, its tone must be stable, recognizable and unwavering.
The more consistent and complete your brand messaging, the stronger your brand image will become. The stronger your brand’s recognition, the less susceptible it will be to those who would attempt to ride your coattails.
Once the ‘why’ and character of your brand have been established, have been broadcasted and are circulating, you can’t change the script.
What is the biggest threat to my brand’s success? Most likely outside threats and exterior factors are not your company’s biggest concern, it is brand dilution.
YOU and your messaging are the biggest liability to your brand’s perception and you must do everything in your power not to dilute your messaging. Just as developing personal trust takes consistent and continual interaction the public, your perspective customers must see an image of consistency and purity. The last thing you want to do is to cause confusion or give the public a reason to doubt your authenticity.
Your brand must be cultivated.
It is a living, breathing thing, and it must be maintained and renewed. Every status update, every blog, and every social post must all align with your predetermined brand character. Great brands know who they are. You don’t need to be all things for all people, you are supposed to be different. Attempting to hit multiple targets can often cause you to miss the mark altogether.
Know your market and target customer and speak to them!
REFRESH YOUR BRAND IDENTITY TODAY!
Ready to refresh your online brand identity? Get in touch with Synchronicity today to start the branding process by calling 866-397-7962 to speak to an account representative or visit our website to get started.