Something as simple as your outdoor banner stands should be designed with your company branding in mind. The branding strategies you employ must be consistent, as well as fundamental to the values that your company wishes to communicate.
Building a quality company brand takes time, and when you are coming to the market for the first time can feel it is unimportant. However, you cannot dismiss the power of brand building. It could be the factor that sustains your position in the marketplace once you have traction. Therefore, company branding should be a vital part of your business plan.
To help you in the pursuit of your branding, here are five powerful lessons that you can learn from those more prominent companies.
Coca Cola is the best example of taking a brand standard and making sure it appears everywhere. Everything produced by Coca Cola has the name printed in its iconic font. We don’t even have to read the words to know what it represents. The same colour and font are on the packaging, the internet and television.
The company then work hard to link feelings and expectations to this brand. Whenever the red and white can appears, people seem to be having fun while being refreshed.
It is possible to do the same for your company, from the start, if your idea of your brand’s vision and emotional impact is clear.
Once your vision for your company and the emotions you evoke are clear, you need to dedicate one person to the creation and enforcement of your brand standards. Nothing should be more important than the reputation attached to the brand being created. Your brand ambassador should be all over your packaging. They should also have time with your customer service reps. No matter where in the company this brand ambassador strays, they should be welcome and the importance of the role understood. Any slip from this consistency can create confusion that is difficult to reverse. Imagine if a purple can was allowed to flow down a Coca Cola production line.
Nike is an excellent example of the power of storytelling. They created the Find Your Greatness campaign. The video created the feel of a film. There was the unlikely protagonist, a moral lesson and a narrator. It feels like a Hollywood movie and sucks you into the tale being told. You watch every moment of the video – thanks to the power of storytelling.
You don’t have to make a film to tell a story. Make sure people feel an emotional connection with your company by telling stories through case studies of your evolution. Try not to sound like a marketer. Share the things that make your company unique in an authentic voice. Your customers will take your stories and tell them as they pass on your name as a recommendation.
Big Data might seem like one of those uncomfortable buzz words for the more prominent brands. However, using data is attainable for smaller companies too. It just means that you are using data analytics, such as that provided by Google, to help develop and evolve your relationship with your customer.
If you are convinced that you need to use data, you now require a starting point. If you do not have a clear idea of how you want to use the data, you can quickly become overwhelmed. Therefore, from the beginning, set out what your critical success factors are. What will data indicate if your company is successful or not? You then need to use all the tools available to track these data sources. You should then run sales reports each month and then reflect on these.
Branding, at its core, is about drawing people into your community. The best way to ask people to join your community is to be an active part of their community too. Once you start being involved in your local community, you begin to share a bond. Look at Expedia’s “Find yours” campaign for a prominent brand example. They encouraged people to share travel stories and so created a robust community of people who loved travelling.
Whatever approach you choose, you aim to encourage the customers to share experiences with your brand. You will likely have your favourite brand, and you probably do not know why you think of them above others. It might be worth reflecting whether the brand has encouraged you to be a part of their gang somehow – and how they did this.
James Birch is the sales and marketing manager at Colour Graphics. He is an expert in quality printed marketing materials
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