Despite some still thinking that a brand is your logo, a brand should be an authentic promise of an experience, and it’s actually visible through every form of contact with your customers or prospects, visually, verbally and in person.
So why do you need a brand rather than a logo? Simply, it differentiates your business from your competitors in a more meaningful way, vital in such a competitive business landscape. Give people a good reason to buy from your brand and it can lead to better sales, higher prices and improved profits. Some brands evolve over time as the business slowly gains a reputation in their sector, but might it be possible to take a few short-cuts?
The starting point is to identify what your best customers really love about you. Why do they engage with your business rather than your competitor’s? It might be the product, but it also might be your service. It could even be that they see your other customers as part of a crowd they want to belong to. You, or your product, might just be very cool. This sounds like a simple thing to do but in our experience it rarely is. Research is important and almost always worth listening to.
Some businesses can’t afford the research required to deliver this sort of insight. So what do they do? Genuine USPs are very hard to find these days, so working out what your business believes and what it’s going to do about these beliefs can really help to separate you from the rest.
To assist in this process we often use Archetypes in Branding, a system that allows us to allocate one or more personality types to a brand. This unlocks how the brand would behave if it were a person, which feels much less theoretical than other systems. Based on the work of Freud and Jung, each of the 60 Archetypes available is a well known human characteristic, very recognisable to all involved in the process. Selecting one or more helps to humanise the brand and makes connecting with customers a more natural experience.
Brand Conviction and Archetypes in Branding share a common benefit. They begin to include non-marketing people in the process of brand development, ensuring the whole business begins to take ownership of telling an authentic brand story.
Once you have pinned down your differentiation, you can decide whether a rebrand is needed. In our view you should only refresh, or change your brand, if there is a very good reason. Maybe the company has grown in a different direction to its original plan? Or the current approach just doesn’t match the differentiation you have just discovered.
Matching this story to the visual presentation is the next challenge. How to visually articulate the brand in a way that you can own. This comes down to a good agency and a top designer, but it will be your groundwork that will make the difference. It’s important to remember that good creative doesn’t come out of nowhere. It almost always comes from a good strategy and that takes hard work and a good process.
The key to all of it though, is in proving that you can deliver what you promise. If your brand, and therefore your promise of an experience, doesn’t match what customers are seeing every day, you’ll have something of a problem. If you claim to be purveyors of fabulous design, make sure you are. If you claim to be fantastic value, make sure that’s true. Customers these days are a very sophisticated bunch who can smell a sales pitch from a thousand miles. You need to be authentic and honest and tell a story that resonates. Believe in something that matters to you and you’ll attract people that it also matters to.
At Air we care about our clients doing well and we are always determined to offer honest, impartial advice that makes a real difference. If you are reviewing your brand, please feel free to give us a call.