It’s hard to decide what is the hotter marketing topic these days – Social Media or Branding.
Social Media is a hot topic because it’s a complex and rapidly changing marketing element that many find hard to keep up with.
Branding has finally got its day in the sun because business leaders are seeing the value and bottom line revenue results that come from solid, well-aligned, consistent branding.
If you aren’t seeing results from your company branding efforts it likely means you’re slowly killing it. Here’s how that happens and how to fix it…
#1 Not feeding it. A brand initiative isn’t a one and done project. Maybe you hired a very reputable brand firm to either create or re-align your brand, spent a lot of resources on it but you feel like it is business as usual. Why? You’re not feeding it. Completing the project was just the beginning of the process – not the end.
Fix: Live the brand, nurture it. As the business leader you must live your brand or no one else will. Keep the core values and promise in your sights. Do something every day that is a noticeable display of your brand values.
#2 Allowing it to be misused. Maybe you and folks in your company are a bit bored with your branding elements and you don’t see what’s wrong with tweaking them a bit for a certain project, but inconsistency of visual elements (logo, colors) and messaging (tag line, positioning statements) leads to confusion and the breakdown of your brand.
Fix: Be rigorous about applying brand standards and create a branding guidelines document for your company. Police them. Assign the task of ensuring brand consistency to someone who can keep a watchful eye on it on a daily basis if you cannot.
#3 Lack of engagement with employees. They all sat in the conference room when the new branding was unveiled but no one jumped for joy. It’s likely your employees don’t feel they have ownership in the brand. Why should they care?
Fix: Bring brand ownership to employees by identifying for them how they play a role in your company and product/service brands. Remind, re-engage and foster their role in living the brand through the core values that were identified in the branding process. In other words, be Tony Hsieh, CEO of Zappos.
#4 Lack of engagement with customers. Your customers may be experiencing your brand, but it’s subtle. If you feel the role of your brand is insignificant in your relationship with your customers they most certainly will take you up on that and let it roll over them without paying attention.
Fix: Reinforce your brand with every customer connection. Follow-up on customer interaction with brand value messaging, adapt behavior that screams the core values you set for your brand and create an invitation for customers to be part of your brand. Starbucks…enough said.
#5 Lack of engagement with community and industry. Do you get the “deer in headlights” look when you tell people the name of your company? Or do they say “yeah, you’re the widget guys” when your company is a service firm? Company brands that are very common, hard to pronounce or under promoted don’t have the firepower to cut through today’s overwhelming barrage of information.
Fix: Maybe it is time to do an assessment of just how effective your brand is in communicating who and what your company stands for. Maybe it is time for a brand re-alignment. A company brand name, no matter how common or unusual, can deliver instant recognition for the company’s unique market position in the community and industry when branding is done correctly and consistently. My poster-child for this, Wegmans.
If your brand isn’t delivering what you think it should now is time to take a hard look at why it’s underperforming. Brandrethworks helps company leadership analyze their brand effectiveness, determine next steps and provides the client-side expertise to ask the right questions. Let’s have chat about your company brand and how it can work harder for you to deliver results.