When talking about brands, we immediately think about the big, global brands such as Nike, Adidas, Coca Cola, Apple. You can probably bring their logos to mind straight away. But the fact is that it is not just their logo that influences your thinking – but their very personalities.
It is important to understand that brand is not just about logo. Yes, it is an important aspect that you want to get right. But, that logo is ultimately a superficial manifestation of the very values that your brand should represent, and it is this aspect that is often overlooked with newer companies looking to invest in their own brand marketing.
Get the foundations right, and your brand identity will almost write itself.
Here’s our guide to what you should be focussing on when establishing your own brand.
What are your brand values?
In our highly connected world, which is currently trying to renavigate itself to some degree of balance with regards to social mores, your brand values as a business are now a vital part of how you are going to attract your client base. While sectors of society stand ready to cancel any entity who stands against their own values, so too will they fully support (and loudly too) any company who they believe is upholding their own important values.
This is not a question of who is right or wrong – more that if you want your brand to be successful in the 21st century you need to learn to be more aware of how you are perceived, and stick with your convictions too. Better to polarise an audience and win 50 per cent of them, than to flip flop around trying to please everyone, and end up losing the entire room.
What is your brand purpose?
This does not refer to the features and benefits of your product, but rather, what does it mean for the life, benefit, wellbeing of your customer base. If you think about Coca Cola, the drink is not about quenching thirst, but rather about bringing people together in love, happiness and companionship. If you think about Cocoa Cola advertising around the world, it is always focussed around families and groups of people coming together to celebrate various holidays and festivals.
The most important thing about brand values and purpose is that they are consistent. Any change should be progressive, planned and towards a recognisable goal that will benefit the customer, the employees and ultimately the company.
Is your brand speaking the right words?
Communicating the brand values and purpose to your audience in the right way is crucial. If you are using words that do not relate to your market, then you will rapidly lose the room while they go off and find something or someone more relatable.
Get your tone of voice and your use of language correct from the outset, and people will soon start listening to you. Use the wrong language, and you’ll soon start to alienate them.
That tone of voice needs to change internally as well, depending on the audience you are talking to. Your employees will need a different approach than you clients, And shareholders as well, will require their own tone of voice – think about it in terms of speaking to your children, and then speaking to your parents. Your personality comes across in both examples, it is simply the tone of voice and choice of words that make the different.
Most importantly, the consistency of the messaging remains in evidence throughout, and as your company grows this consistency transcends all changes to ensure that your brand is protected and strengthened as you grow.