As someone who loves getting involved with the nitty gritty of what make a brand successful, working on projects to establish a brand’s identity, right from the outset, is one of the most exciting projects to work on.
No only does your brand communicate your business’ beliefs, values, products and services to your customers, partners, suppliers, and other third parties – it also communicates to your competitors. It is therefore imperative to review your brand messaging at regular intervals, and when the market demands, to ensure you’re brand communications are on message and are relevant to your target audience. Moreover, from an internal perspective, your brand will also play an important part to attract, recruit and retain the right talent to your business.
Why your brand message is so important
Whether you are launching a new brand to market or you are looking at a brand refresh, various components need to be considered when you establish brand guidelines for your business.
Here are some questions to get you thinking… What companies inspire you? Who are you up against from a competitor standpoint? What are your brand product and services? What’s your vision: what do you want to be? What’s you mission: how are you going to achieve your vision? What’s you brand essence: the core thought behind everything you do? What are you brand values? How do you want your brand (and people who work for your brand) to act? What’s your elevator pitch (this needs to be something you’d say to your mates down the pub)? What’s your tone of voice? What messaging do you need to specify around each product and service? Integrated with these questions is your brand personality – this helps to communicate what you want your customers to feel about your brand.
When I’m working with a client to develop their brand messaging I always make sure each communication delivers a customer benefit, supports the brands values, communicates their personality and conveys a relevant message – always communicate in a fewer words as possible.
Developing your brands look and feel
To bring your brand to life visually you need to clearly brief your internal designers or external design agency with what you want you brand to represent. Having a comprehensive brand guidelines document to share at the briefing stage will help you do just that as they form the cornerstone and anchor for all branded communications.
From here your design team or agency will be in a position to develop and propose various brand routes using the right colours, shapes, tones and imagery – all are equally as important as the written and verbal message you wish to communicate – they need to compliment and work together to successfully convey your brand clearly, succinctly and consistently.
Never underestimate the power of your brand – love and nurture it – it is the most important part of your marketing weaponry.
When to consider a rebrand
Throughout a company’s lifetime it may choose to rebrand and create a new brand identity – this decision will be driven by a number of factors:
Change in management and leadership
All the CEO’s I’ve worked with have had a clear vision and direction for the business they are leading, therefore a new CEO may trigger a rebrand to breathe new life into a business.
Customer engagement and wider audience appeal
A drop in customer engagement with often prompt a business to re-access and refresh its brand communications. Moreover, if you’re aiming to broaden your target demographic then your brand messaging will need an overhaul to engage a new audience.
Mergers and acquisitions
These provide the perfect opportunity to consider a rebrand to encapsulate and update the brands USPs and to re-position a brand in the market.
When a company has been separated from a larger organisation it is essential for that business to establish it’s own brand identity to clearly demonstrate it is no longer part of the organisation.
Every business has it’s own set of USPs that need to be clearly communicated through its branding. With such a competitive landscape, and rivals with similar messages to communicate, businesses need to make every effort to differentiate and create standout to stay ahead of the competition.
There are a host of other reasons why a company many rebrand – to launch a new product or service to market; when expanding into new, international markets and the existing brand has negative connotation or associations; to create brand consistency that reflects transformation, and a new direction for a business – there are multiple opportunities and all need to have the right strategic plan in place.
Building brand value and equity: what’s your strategy?
Throughout the last 15 years or so I’ve had the pleasure of working along side some very inspirational, visionary CEO’s and MD’s to make things happen for their business. Together we have created some incredible, memorable journeys to establish and launch their brand to market, to incorporate the acquisition of new brands into their business, and build their brand equity to point of sale.