August 22/29, 2016; Volume 31, Number 5
Establishing and building an effective brand is often a process of trial and error. As each brand is uniquely different, what works for one company might not work for another.
Still, experts say there are certain fundamental steps that apply across the board. Following are some dos and dont’s of branding, as per Hinge Marketing.
Take the time to do your research. Effective branding requires a thorough understanding of your audience, your industry, your competitors and your firm’s value proposition. The clearer the picture you have of these key influencers, the better you’ll be at building a brand that has staying power.
Be consistent. Brand consistency is important for instilling confidence and maintaining expectations for your target audience. An inconsistent brand not only looks unprofessional and scattered, but it can also lead to brand confusion—which makes your brand less identifiable and understandable to your customers.
Be patient. Rome wasn’t built in a day, and neither is a strong brand. Brand building takes time, persistence and diligent strategy, so manage your expectations appropriately. Be patient with your progress.
Don’t leave your employees in the dark. Brand building works best when everyone involved is informed and on board. Hinge Marketing recommends talking openly with your employees about your goals and plans for your brand strategy. Make sure everyone is on the same page and headed in the same direction. Since your employees represent your brand, their involvement is essential to your success.
Don’t get too caught up in what the competition is doing. Be aware of how your competition approaches their own branding, but don’t allow them to influence your decisions to any great degree. Establishing your brand in response to your competition will lack authenticity. Find the balance between paying attention and staying true to yourself.
Don’t make empty promises. Your brand needs to be an accurate representation of your firm. Therefore, don’t spend time trying to be something you aren’t. Doing so may damage your credibility.