“A brand is worthless if it doesn’t connect with the right audience in a relevant way.”

In a fast-paced world, where consumer choices, demands and favourites change overnight, businesses often comes off bad. It’s unrealistic for an organisation to believe that the perfect mix of products, systems, infrastructure and workforce is at the top of its game.

Brand identity is integral, akin to a signature. It is unique, personal and identifiable, and a positive brand image works wonders for business. The decision to rebrand however is a big one – it is not just changing your brand logo and designs. Rebranding, if done skilfully, is a massive win for any company. A well-thought out, strategic brand strategy focuses on the positives and eliminates the negatives.

Thinking about rebranding? Do you need to? Here are some key points to consider:

  • Take a step back and evaluate. Is your brand doing all you want it to do? As the saying goes, ‘If it aint broke, don’t fix it.’ But if it is, know exactly what parts of the mix are flawless, and what isn’t working the way it should.
  • Assess the playing field. Know your competition. Establish their strengths and weaknesses and relate them against your own.
  • Know yourself. What can you do better? Try everything possible when it comes to giving yourself that extra boost to set you at the forefront of the competition.
  • Customer. Customer. Customer. You know your customer? Look again. Pay close attention to consumer behaviour and find out if you’re really giving them what they want.

The big decision. Rebranding is more than just a change in logo and tagline. It’s about telling your brand story the way it was meant to be told, so that everyone listening, never forgets.

Successful rebranding takes your business up a ladder that previously didn’t exist, giving your brand the foundation to evolve and flourish, whilst reinforcing your core business strategy, values and image.

It’s a conscious choice to stay relevant, revive growth and build loyalty. It may not be easy, but it will definitely be worth it.

 

Reference : James Pass Design

Coke inspires. Patagonia awakens the explorer and begs us to experience the natural world. Victoria’s Secret evokes the seductive lover when we buy sexy lingerie. Nike fuels greatness, and charity: water makes us want to donate our birthday money to help change lives.

To the casual consumer, the power that some brands hold seems like a mystery or stroke of luck. The force behind the world’s most influential brands is actually a science–an intentional positioning strategy grounded in years of psychological research. When you find yourself loyal to your favorite brands and inspired by new ones, you’re subconsciously forging a connection with that brand’s archetype. A brand archetype is a personification of a brand on a human level.

According to Dr. Carol Pearson, a leadership consultant, speaker and author, there are 12 individual brand archetypes, and each of them is associated with specific motivations, values, drivers and attributes.

 

The 12 archetypes are:

  • The Caregiver is moved by compassion, generosity and selflessness to help and serve others. eg., Campbell’s, Johnson & Johnson and TOMS shoes.
  • The Every Person believes in the inherent worth and dignity of all–expecting very little from life but committed to teaching through empathy, realism and street smarts. eg., Gap, Habitat for Humanity and Trader Joe’s.
  • The Hero is tough and courageous, overcomes tremendous obstacles and persists in difficult times. They are most fulfilled when they can rise to or overcome a challenge. eg., Nike, Robert Irvine and the U.S. Army.
  • The Innocent is a spontaneous, trusting child who always sees the bright side of a situation and is able to maintain an optimistic, spontaneous, trusting outlook. eg., Charmin, Avon and Hello Kitty.
  • The Explorer moves past the known to explore new, uncharted territories. When crowds go one way, explorers choose a completely different path, embracing the journey rather than the destination. eg., The North Face, Subaru and Starbucks.
  • The Rebel embodies rage about structures that no longer serve, even when these structures are supported by societies and our conscious choices. Rebels are rule breakers and catalysts for change. eg., Harley Davidson, Virgin and Diesel.
  • The Lover lives to experience pleasure, achieve intimacy and follow bliss. eg., Victoria’s Secret, BMW and Godiva.
  • The Creator fosters imaginative endeavors, aiming to express and turn away from mediocrity. eg., HGTV, Canon and Lego.
  • The Jester lives to have a good time, making the most mundane experiences something fun. eg., GEICO, Taco Bell and Skittles.
  • The Sage seeks the truths that will set us free in seeing the world objectively and providing course-corrective solutions based on objective analysis of our actions and choices. eg., CNN, Oprah and The Wall Street Journal.
  • The Magician seeks out the fundamental laws of science and metaphysics to understand how to transform situations, influence people, and transform visions into reality. eg., TED, Disney and AXE.
  • The Ruler inspires us to take responsibility for our own lives in our society and in the world at large by creating environments that invite gifts and perspectives of all concerned. eg., Rolex, Rolls Royce and American Express.

 

Reference: Changing Minds, We Are Motto

You’re ready to develop a new brand or you decide to evolve your existing brand. & you’ll quickly realize that you’re filled with options – from freelancers to branding agencies, options to finalize the right branding partner.

 

Finding the best & the right branding partner
is like finding a diamond in the rough.

Shortlist 4-5 branding agencies which you think are the best. Interview them all and narrow it down to 2-3 firms. Have in mind clearly your goals, budget and deadlines so that when you talk to them, they get your objectives.
“Be open about your budget and goals. That way, no one wastes time if there isn’t a financially mutual fit.”

 

None prefer spending lakhs of rupees to
fall into a relationship that doesn’t eventually work.

Once you short list agencies you think are the best for your branding, consider the below points. They’ll help you find the best partner.

 

First impression is the best impression.
Make the most out of the subtle first interactions. Ask yourself the following questions during and after the first talk :
– How do they interact with you before you become their client.
– Are they prompt in initial mail exchanges and schedules?
– Do they ask relevant questions during your meetings? & How smoothly do they flow?

Natural chemistry matters. It never should be like a blind date where you realize both parties have nothing in common. If you’re not compatible as people, it will reflect in the work product.

 

You are unique.

A big part of successful branding is the ability to problem solve with a fresh perspective. Some branding agencies have portfolios that are undifferentiated – all work across clients look the same. You visual identities should express your brand’s unique voice and must solve your specific challenges.

 

Branding is not creation of new logo.
Your brand should live in the real world. Your branding partner needs to be well-versed across channels and mediums, and able to ideate and implement across various touchpoints.
Some agencies are strong with strategy but not so well versed with design. Others excel with design but fall short with the strategy. You want an agency that can deliver on both brand strategy and design at an equally high level that’s in line with your brand’s bigger picture.

 

They should lead you. Not vice versa.
A great agency should be committed to make your business successful. They shouldn’t be afraid to step forward, speak up, and say “Here’s what needs to happen in order to build a successful brand.”
Greatness is built by collaboratively working together to achieve success. Agencies that are client-led often result in poor outcomes. A great agency is built to lead the project, not just to stay on time, budget and scope, but more importantly to push you to a state that will make your brand more impactful.

 

Great agencies don’t focus on design deliverables first. They focus on the strategic path that will take you from where you are to where you want to be. What you need is an agency that can deliver both brand strategy and design – both at the highest level.

Life has become complicated. In the past we only had one brand to create and maintain.

The “physical brand” that is constrained by time and space.
Its maintenance is constant and it is something we all do and some are better at it than others. You rise from your sleep and perform activities that could include showering, preening and wrapping yourself with the latest fashion.
Check in the mirror and you’re done, you are ready for the world.
In today’s digital age we also have the online brand to maintain, nourish and polish to present to the world. This is not restricted to a geographical location but roams and communicates beyond the space, time continuum.
It is your virtual “digital brand”.

Digital Visibility

The challenge today is to become visible in a world of online noise, torrents of information and global web competition, whether you are a personal or business brand.
A Multi-channel cyber persona is now becoming mandatory. The brand digital persona needs to be spread across websites, blogs, Facebook, Twitter and YouTube and that is just the start. The brand message needs to be consistent and constant on a variety of media. Visual channels are adding to the mix with Pintrest and Instagram.
It requires persistent and vigilant management as we check our emails, logon to our Facebook page and review Twitter updates. The blogger needs to check what blog posts are resonating, then review and approve the comments. Others will be checking how many hits have happened overnight to the YouTube channel. LinkedIn fans and users will want to know what connection invites are sitting in the inbox. If you are on Slideshare, you will be checking how many have downloaded or viewed your presentations.
Social media has pushed our lives further into the digital sphere as we check our friend requests on iPads and iPhones and often before leaving our beds.
The public and digital persona needs constant optimization to ensure that it has not been hijacked by spammers, scammers or trolls. It is an exercise in constant surveillance and management.
As they say “its complicated”.

The Rise of the Digital Assets

Business is now playing out online and thinking that your bricks and mortar presence is all that is needed is ignorance in a digital economy. If you are not found by search engines then you might as well be invisible. In some industries up to 90% of all buying decisions start with an online search. The holy grail is being ranked one on Google.
So what are the digital assets you need to create, market and manage?
• Websites (including blogs and e-Commerce stores)
• Social media channels and assets
• Multi-media content assets
• Mobile assets including apps and mobile sites
• Digital databases including email subscribers
The value of building and continuing to invest and build these assets cannot be underestimated. Most online stores have more traffic than physical stores.

Digital Marketing

Once created the next challenge is moving your online brand from “invisible to visible” so that prospects and customers can find you, read and view your content and then buy your goods and services. Digital asset creation should not be “set and forget” as it was in the past.
Successful campaigns require multi-channel digital marketing strategies and tactics. These include:
• Search engine optimization (SEO)
• Paid digital advertising (this includes banner ads and Google Adwords)
• Social media marketing
• Email Marketing
To be truly successful requires three types of “multi“, multiple digital assets, multi-media and multiple marketing channels.
Marketing can no longer rely on just one channel or even two channels as your target audience has splintered and dispersed across a digital matrix.

Managing and Monitoring the Digital Brand

Multi-channel marketing requires the right tools and platforms to measure success and failure of campaigns.
The marketing manager and brand police will want to know what is being said about the “Brand” to protect PR disasters from destroying a reputation in hours or even minutes as real time communication offers both opportunity and potential catastrophe at the speed of a tweet.
Community managers maintain and monitor “Tweet Stations” on Hootsuite or other Twitter platforms to see what is unfolding online. This maintenance can be in-house or outsourced.
Advertising agencies will want to know what are the click through rates on banner ads.
Many tools are needed to manage the process of brand protection and maintenance.

Source : www.jeffbullas.com

An integral part of your business success is reaching customers through inventive and comprehensive social-media marketing campaigns.

Here are some tips to help build up your following and your brand.

  1. Make your tweets stand out.

If you don’t want your posts to get lost in the Twitter stream, make sure to include an image, related link or even an emoji to separate your missives from the torrent of other tweets.

  1. Express yourself with longer posts.

If you feel limited by Twitter’s 140 character count, feel free to expand on a point with posts on platforms like Tumblr, Google+ and LinkedIn.

  1. Strengthen your Facebook network.

If you find that you aren’t getting the response you are after from your company’s Facebook page, create some groups to spark more connections and conversations around your product and brand. Your customers can also choose to get updates from you this way.

  1. Inspire action.

Include call to action buttons (i.e. “like this page” and “learn more”) in your posts to gain more traction, clicks and conversions.

  1. Stay top of mind.

Market and post consistently across multiple platforms. Tailor your posts for each community and be sure to include links to your other social accounts in the bio and about sections so customers know where else to find you.

  1. Make connections.

You’re not just selling a product or a service, but a larger network. If you know of people in your orbit who would benefit from meeting, whether they are an investor, advisor, client or customer, make the introduction – you and the brand be well remembered.

  1. Share your feedback.

When you get positive feedback from a customer, don’t be afraid to highlight it. Retweet customer praise, thank individual customers on your Facebook page and consider a crowd sourced, user-generated campaign.

  1. Veer off the beaten track.

If a marketing idea appeals to you but you’re not sure if it’ll work, do the research but give it a try anyway. People will appreciate something a little unusual, and it could go viral.

9 . Stand behind your actions

Being honest, forward and entirely reasonable will win support from social media audience and will gain new paying clients.

  1. Put a positive spin on things

Emotions are contagious and people love optimism. Social media users are more likely to follow you if you share happier updates all the time.

 

Source : www.entrepreneur.com

Branding goes way beyond just a logo or graphic element. When you think about your brand, you really want to think about your entire customer experience…everything from your logo, your website, your social media experiences, the way you answer the phone, to the way your customers experience your staff. When you look at this broad definition of branding, it can be a bit overwhelming to think about what is involved in your brand.

In short, your brand is the way your customer perceives you.

It is critical to be aware of your brand experience and have a plan to create the brand experience that you want to have… a good brand doesn’t just happen… it is a well thought out and strategic plan.

 

BRANDING PROMOTES RECOGNITION.

People tend to do business with companies they are familiar with. If your branding is consistent and easy to recognize, it can help people feel more at east purchasing your products or services.

 

YOUR BRAND HELPS SET YOU APART FROM THE COMPETITION.

In today’s global market, it is critical to stand apart from the crowd. You are no longer competing on a local stage, your organization now competes in the global economy. How do you stand out from the thousands or millions of similar organizations around the world?

 

YOUR BRAND TELLS PEOPLE ABOUT YOUR BUSINESS DNA.

Your full brand experience, from the visual elements like the logo to the way that your phones are answered, tell your customer about the kind of company that you are. Are all of these points of entry telling the right story?

 

YOUR BRAND PROVIDES MOTIVATION AND DIRECTION FOR YOUR STAFF.

A clear brand strategy provides the clarity that your staff needs to be successful. It tells them how to act, how to win, and how to meet the organization’s goals.

 

A STRONG BRAND GENERATES REFERRALS.

People love to tell others about the brands they like. People wear brands, eat brands, listen to brands, and they’re constantly telling others about the brands they love. On the flip side, you can’t tell someone about a brand you can’t remember. A strong brand is critical to generating referrals or viral traffic.

 

A STRONG BRAND HELPS CUSTOMERS KNOW WHAT TO EXPECT.

A brand that is consistent and clear puts the customer at ease, because they know exactly what to expect each and every time they experience the brand.

 

YOUR BRAND REPRESENTS YOU AND YOUR PROMISE TO YOUR CUSTOMER.

It is important to remember that your brand represents you…you are the brand, your staff is the brand, your marketing materials are the brand. What do they say about you, and what do they say about what you’re going to deliver (promise) to the customer?

 

YOUR BRAND HELPS YOU CREATE CLARITY AND STAY FOCUSED.

It’s very easy to wonder around from idea to idea with nothing to guide you…it doesn’t take long to be a long way from your original goals or plans. A clear brand strategy helps you stay focused on your mission and vision as an organization. Your brand can help you be strategic and will guide your marketing efforts saving time and money.

 

YOUR BRAND HELPS YOU CONNECT WITH YOUR CUSTOMERS EMOTIONALLY.

A good brand connects with people at an emotional level, they feel good when they buy the brand. Purchasing is an emotional experience and having a strong brand helps people feel good at an emotional level when they engage with the company.

 

A STRONG BRAND PROVIDES YOUR BUSINESS VALUE.

A strong brand will provide value to your organization well beyond your physical assets. Think about the brands that you purchase from (Coca-Cola, Wrangler, Apple, Ford, Chick-Fil-A, Quick Trip)… are these companies really worth their equipment, their products, their warehouses, or factories? No, these companies are worth much more than their physical assets…their brand has created a value that far exceeds their physical value.

 

WRAPPING IT UP

The best branding is built on a strong idea… an idea that you and your staff can hold on to, can commit to, and can deliver upon. Your brand needs to permeate your entire organization. When your organization is clear on the brand and can deliver on the promise of the brand, you will see tremendous fruit while building brand loyalty among your customer base.

 

Source : www.strategynewmedia.com

 

 

Building Brands People Love.