As a business owner, you’ve probably heard the word “brand” an endless number of times.
Today “branding” is one of the most popular business buzzwords, especially with the boom in e-Commerce and social media platforms, and online design services, such as 99designs and Fiverr, producing 1,000s of branded experiences a week.
However, with this rapid growth and execution of branding, in most cases, these “brands” could be more successful. As you consider investing your time in improving your company’s brand, here are some brand optimization insights to keep in mind:
Table of Contents:
- Understand the Meaning of a Brand
- What is the Purpose of a Brand?
- Consider How a Brand Is Delivered and Experienced
- Know Where a Brand Is Delivered and Experienced
- Figure Out What Makes Your Brand Special
Understand the Meaning of a Brand
The best place to start is to understand what a brand is not.
A brand is not the latest Apple iPhone or Tesla Model S. It’s not the World Cup or Kanye, Twitch or a Quarter Pounder with Cheese. A brand is not an organization, a product or a solution. As mentioned in the Logo Design Workbook by Noreen Morioka and Sean Adams, “A logo isn’t a brand, unless it’s on a cow”
So now that we’ve established what a brand isn’t, what IS a brand? “A brand is a person’s gut feeling about a product, a service, or an organization.”
Therefore, the best way to think about a brand is another’s perception. The person we’re referencing here would be your customers, product users, or stakeholders.
What is the Purpose of a Brand?
The creation and evolution of the best brands “Start with Why” Simon Sinek explains in his book. It is a person’s gut feelings, perceptions and their beliefs based on the essence of a brand. Its soul. Its values.
As you think about your brand, ask yourself the following questions:
- Why does this company exist?
- What is its passion?
- What is its ethos?
Examples of this would be:
- “To create a fitter, healthier planet”
- “To accelerate the world’s transition to sustainable energy”
An organization’s backstory is realized through its values and purpose. From purpose comes the vision, the future aspirations.
Consider How a Brand Is Delivered and Experienced
Each backstory is unique with the expressions of these values and purposes of the brand identity. Purpose and vision are manifested through strategy. And when these plans and actions share conscientious, cohesive, creative characteristics a brand has the most power. The best way to manage the creation and execution of all touchpoints including; logo, website, social media channels, presentations, events (live and virtual), advertising, signage, collateral, packaging, customer communications and more, is with a brand identity program. It provides the principles and specifications for the face (how it looks, colour, form, composition) and the voice (what, why and how an organization speaks). These standards ensure that each touchpoint has a synergistic effect on the entire brand experience.
The brand identity program truly expresses one’s backstory, purpose and vision including;
who is it, why they do it, what they do, how they do it, what they say, why they say it, what others say about them and how they look?
Know Where a Brand Is Delivered and Experienced
Think of brand expressions as a collection of touchpoints, all the places where one interacts with a company, its products and/or services. Again, the most successful brands share the same deliberate and consistent creation and execution. It shouldn’t matter what country, what type of smartphone, tablet or computer,
Determine What Makes Your Brand Special
The best brands have reputations for consistently exceeding expectations and experiences based on characteristics such as relevance, quality, dependability, compassion, inventiveness and sustainability. And from this consistent behaviour comes trust and confidence that reinforce the purpose of the company, product and or service, essential in the creation of a successful brand.
If you’re interested in learning more about building and establishing your brand, you can gain insights from the following books:
Start with Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action
ZAG: The #1 Strategy of High-Performance Brands
Building a StoryBrand: Clarify Your Message So Customers Will Listen
Designing Brand Identity: An Essential Guide for the Whole Branding Team
To learn more about how our team at WebMarketers can help you optimize your brand, reach out to our team!