I remember talking to a marketer a few years ago who started every sentence with the word ‘brand’. For her, marketing was all about creating the right brand image and as a practical marketer – I would argue that brand alone does not generate immediate leads.
I hold by that opinion; brand is important but it is only part of the marketing mix and I would argue strongly that brand is something a company evolves in much the same way as a culture – let me explain.
Your Brand Is Your People
When you ask anyone about a company they will tend to describe them in terms of their people; Company X is a young, dynamic organisation that is focused on delivery excellent service. It is not the age of the company that they refer to but the people, it is not necessarily the company that is dynamic but the people you deal with and likewise a company does not deliver great service, but the people within it. It can be argued that this can also be applied to products and technology – a quality product, leading-edge technology or premier service.
In defining a company’s brand, step one is always to look within to what makes that company successful, what makes it stand out from the crowd and what makes dealing with them memorable.
Establish The Visual Brand
You can dress a dull person in a loud Hawaiian shirt, and whereas it will make them look more lively, underneath they are still dull. A bizarre analogy to make a point – but this is true with companies. A dynamic logo and a highly interesting website does not change a company, only its initial appearance.
So when establishing a visual brand it is important that you do this appropriately. What are you trying to do is create the cover for the book that reflects the content. Your creative – logo, website visual and literature – artwork has to reflect the way you describe your company.
Substance is Key
Visuals only go so far – it is the words and style of these words that truly portray your brand. When someone comes to your website, first impressions of the visual are important, it will determine if you capture attention or not. However, that first impression is over in 10-20 seconds, after which the impression you give of your company will come down to content.
How do you summarise your company on the home page? If you opening sentence is about your technology, then you are defining your brand by the type of technology you offer. If it is about service, you are associating your brand around quality or type of service. If it is about your people, you are defining your brand around your culture, your way.
Style is Important
It is not just about what you say; it is about how you say it. To exaggerate the point, you do not portray young and dynamic with Shakespearian English.
Your content needs to be written in the style of your company and your people. There should be complete consistency in what your eshot says, what your website says and what your sales person would say when stood in front of a customer.
A Picture Paints A Thousand Words
This may be true, but I see so many companies fail by trying to develop a brand from engaging a creative agency. Before you paint the picture you need to know what words you want to say and the style in which you want to say them.
You need to be clear both what makes you different and what it is that your target market is looking for your brand should unite these two factors together.
Why do I know this? Because this is what we do at Cremarc. If you feel your company is not being perceived in the way you want it in the market, we can help with positioning and branding. Call me on 01932 254 771 or email me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.