The Importance of Building a Strong Brand
A strong brand is essential for connecting with consumers and helping your company stand out from the crowd. However, marketers often approach each advertising campaign, website or piece of sales collateral as individual, unconnected items instead of tying them together to form a cohesive brand image. Each marketing item should fit together like a puzzle and solidify your overall brand. It's this collective whole that defines how your company is perceived by consumers. This brand image should always be taken into account when implementing any new marketing project or your carefully crafted brand will erode over time.
It's beneficial to periodically conduct an audit of your brand to avoid this brand erosion. The audit should include a comprehensive evaluation of all your marketing initiatives - from websites, to email templates, to sales sheets and brochures - to determine whether these items are all aligned with, and supporting, your brand. Make sure to look at these items as objectively as any consumer would. First, you need to decide if there is a cohesive brand at all. Then, assuming there is some branding in place, is this brand aligned with the message that you want to be communicating to customers and potential customers? In other words, is your brand sending the right message? What type of personality does your brand have? Is it all business, projecting a more professional image, or is your brand more casual, presenting your company as more personable? The appropriate brand image will depend heavily on your particular industry and whether you are selling B2B or directly to consumers. Regardless of the type of brand you want to embody, is your current branding presenting your company in the right light?
If your brand audit leaves you wanting more, don't fret. There are countless examples of successful brand turnarounds. Consider Old Spice, who just a few years ago had become a stodgy, irrelevant deodorant company. With the help of a very creative advertising campaign that went viral, the company has quickly become a model of a successful branding initiative.
Our company, Harbortouch, recently underwent a re-branding initiative which included both a name change and overall repositioning in the marketplace. We went from just another credit card processor with an innocuous name, United Bank Card, to a forward thinking, technology oriented company offering some truly differentiated products to our business clients. Although it first seemed like a daunting project, this re-branding project gave us the perfect chance to reevaluate our entire brand image. Since we needed to update all of our websites and marketing collateral with the new name and logo anyway, we were able to take the opportunity to make sure every item fit together into a cohesive whole. Since then, we have made a conscious effort to consider our branding when developing any new marketing materials or implementing any new marketing initiative. Make sure that you are doing the same for your company and you will see a tremendous improvement to your overall brand.