Branding is vital to the success of any organization – but perhaps not in the way that most people think. A compelling and convincing brand identity is much more than clever phrases and taglines. It’s a way of being that forges an unmistakable image of who you are and what you stand for.
At Landes & Associates, we use an approach to branding that goes beyond the messages and the media, and focuses on what it takes to “deliver on the brand promise.” Focusing on what you do and how you operate is just as vital to your success as the promotional images and messages that you present to the public. Ultimately, the way you “show up” in the delivery of your products and services is the most important expression of your brand identity.
We can help your entire team understand and embrace the principle of “living the brand.” We help them appreciate why branding is about what you do as much as what you say in your external communications and promotions. They discover it’s about how you deliver day-in and day-out at every “moment of truth” when the customer comes face-to-face with what you offer and how you do it.
All branding and marketing activities must be strategically and tactically linked to the goals, objectives, and priorities of the organization as a whole.
While you may serve many different market segments, you can create a more cohesive brand identify if you start by identifying a core target for your branding and marketing efforts. The process involved in selecting a core target for you brand begins with the following considerations:
- Does the target group it have sufficient critical mass – is it large enough, influential enough, and/or sufficiently accessible to represent the interests of the total universe of potential users?
- How easy will it be to change the behavior of the target group?
- Is the target group capable of creating a wake effect that will pull along other segments of the potential user universe?
- Will the messages required to reach the target group represent the voice of the brand as it reflects the sentiments of the brand’s owner?
After the core target is identified, we help you develop a brand frame to guide the creation of your overall branding and marketing strategy. Ultimately, the brand frame must satisfy the following criteria:
- Resonate as being accurate and consistent with impressions of the owner of the brand and its related product/service
- Provide an inspiring platform upon which to build enthusiasm for the brand both inside and outside the organization
- Capture characteristics of the brand identity that are transferable to compelling images and messages for both internal and external audiences
- Differentiate the positioning of the product/service in a way that is not easily duplicated by another organization, especially a competitor.
The purpose of a brand creed is to articulate a set of guiding principles that can provide direction for decision-making on any aspect of your organization operations – whether it’s marketing, management, maintenance, or any other driving force.
As with all creeds or credos, the brand creed always begins with the compelling phrase “We believe that …” Based on that opening statement, the creed can include as few or as many statements of belief about who you are what you stand for as you want.
Brand Personality Traits
In addition to the brand creed, it is valuable to develop a set of brand personality traits. They offer another useful tool to facilitate decision-making and ensure that all actions and decisions made in the organization support the integrity of the brand and its promise to the marketplace.