Does your company exhibit signs of a strong brand? Besides being easily recognized by current and potential clients, a brand provides employees with direction, communicates values and purpose, and represents the sum of perceptions about a company. Branding goes far beyond logos and imagery and goes deep into a business’s identity, and how it wants to be perceived and experienced by people internal and external to an organization. Creating and maintaining a powerful brand is an art, and these seven signs of a strong brand are excellent indicators if you are on the right path.
Knowing your why will help define your purpose and be the core value of your business, a nucleus for everything else that’s created afterwards. Your purpose will help you stand out from competition and be a point of differentiation compared to other businesses in your market. Knowing your business’s why will help establish intent and make way for more functional goals such as the need to make money and the desire to provide the best service in your industry.
Consistency is important as it leads to brand recognition which is what all brands hope to achieve. Ensuring all communications are cohesive and relevant to the brand’s purpose will ensure consistency across all messaging both internal within the company, and external to potential customers, suppliers and competition. Consistency must be achieved by way of action (this forms part of the corporate culture), appearance and messaging. To address the visual aspect of brand consistency many businesses have style guides for reference and clarity.
By working with a customer’s innate desire to belong and be part of something, businesses can build a tribe of loyal followers who are emotionally tied to a brand. By connecting with your customers on a deeper and more emotional level you will strengthen your relationship, appeal to their emotions and increase brand loyalty.
Although consistency is a core aspect of a powerful brand, flexibility will help brands stay relevant in today’s fast paced business world. To distinguish the two, consistency must be maintained at a high level, ensuring imagery, messaging and culture remain stable. Flexibility is important when it comes to executing campaigns, dealing with changing workforce dynamics and staying on top of industry changes.
Employees are the face of any company and therefor need to be the most cherished brand ambassadors that you have. Ensuring employees are living and breathing the company’s brand, are signed up for the corporate culture and are aligned with the company’s purpose, will help create consistency across all areas of the organization.
Loyalty is what keeps the business flowing and converts a one-time customer into a life long brand ambassador. Reward loyal customers and be sure to make them feel like they are part of something special. The cost to obtain a new customer is significantly more then retaining a current customer, encourage brand loyalty by showing your customers sincere appreciation.
No business operates in a silo and having your finger on the pulse of your external environment, including your competition, will help strengthen your brand strategy and identity. Take a close look at your competitors and find out what they are doing well and not so well, can you improve on anything they are doing or learn from their mistakes? Anticipate market trends and ensure your brand is staying flexible amidst changing environments.