Originally posted on the Washington Business Journal website by Beth Johnson. Excerpts below.
Organizations frequently come to our agency looking for a “new brand.” More often than not, they are referring to a name, visual identity, tag line and maybe some “fresh messaging.”
It seems like an easy project: Get some creative people in a room, come up with some edgy designs, write a few pithy descriptors, update the website and stationery — and a new brand is born. Right? Unfortunately, it’s not that simple. A brand is not a logo. Elements like visual identity, name, tag line and the message in marketing and communication programs are expressions of a brand.
They are important tools in creating alignment, setting expectations with audiences, delivering a brand promise consistently throughout an organization and expressing what you stand for to the outside world. But the strength of a brand is not found in color schemes, snappy headlines and pretty pictures.
Strong brands come from within an organization. A brand is defined by what you do, not just what you say. So when you think of your brand, think about your business at every level. Think about your vision for the future and how you are planning to get there. Think about your employees, your office space and your customer experience.
Think about every interaction anyone is ever going to have with you — whether it’s the way your retail clerk greets customers, the ease of navigation on your website, the effectiveness of your sales presentations or the follow-up to a trade event. The best brands set a clear expectation or promise with their customers and deliver on it consistently through every interaction.
Branding is not a project with a beginning and an end. It’s a living thing, based on day-to-day interaction.
Do your customers see your business the way you intend them to see it? If not, it may be time to reconsider your brand. Just don’t start with your logo.
Click HERE to read the article from the Washington Business Journal website by Beth Johnson. And click HERE to learn about our branding/re-branding philosophy, including videos from our Chief Storytelling Officer Bob Allen and our StoryAnalytics Master Rick Stone.