The branding process is a daunting task that can stretch an organization’s resources to the breaking point. The problem is that most brands want to do everything all at once. That’s a huge mistake. Progressive branding allows you to implement branding a little bit at a time so that improvements happen gradually. It’s important to get a big-picture view of your brand before starting the branding process. This means creating a brand strategy that includes setting goals, defining your audience, setting KPIs, and establishing a brand persona.
Strategic Branding Process
A brand strategy is the best way to ensure your branding process is controlled from beginning to end without being rushed or delayed. There are four things you need to know to succeed with a strategic branding process:
1. Set Goals
You’ve heard this over and over again, but that’s because it’s incredibly important to set and track goals. Why? Because two-thirds of senior managers can’t name the priorities of the companies they work for. You and your workforce can’t be successful if they don’t know what they’re working towards. Goals will create a unified effort within your organization that will increase production and enhance understanding.
2. Define Your Audience
How many times have you been targeted by ads on Facebook, websites and search engines with messaging that was completely irrelevant to your needs? Trying to build a branding process without defining your audience is like trying to sell a motorcycle to a baby. It’s noisy, confusing, and downright annoying.
3. Set Key Performance Indicators (KPIs)
When you’re setting KPIs be sure they’re based on specific marketing goals so you can track their progress. Brand awareness is the most obvious marketing goal that can be measured using impressions, views, unique users, and more. Determine which KPIs make sense for your brand and begin using them to measure results.
4. Establish a Brand Persona
Who is your brand? What motivates your brand? Creating a brand persona will allow your entire organization to act cohesively as brand representatives. The brand persona is the personality of your brand. The most important thing to keep in mind is that you’re discovering the personality your brand already has. Don’t try to invent one, that will create massive brand confusion.
It’s a Process. Don’t Do Everything at Once.
A progressive branding process is all about taking small steps spread across a predetermined time frame to achieve the big picture. Dumping the entire process onto the work table in one fell swoop will overwhelm your organization. That in turn will create confusion which will manifest itself in the branding. Fortunately, there’s a few easy ways to avoid confusion and gradually roll-out brand changes:
- Create a branding schedule. Don’t rush the process and be realistic about your timeline for completing the branding. If it takes a full year that’s fine, so long as the quality of work is exceptional. Break up your branding schedule by month or annual quarter, depending on your resources and the work capacity of employees.
- Identify brand attributes. Identifying brand attributes is easy to accomplish once you’ve created your brand persona. These are basically components of the brand persona that dictate how the brand will act moving forward. Pay special attention to your brand positioning, consistency, value alignment, benefits for customers, and ability to build equity.
A successful progressive branding process is rooted in your ability to plan, allocate resources, and stay on-track. Rely on your strategy at every turn and remember that if something isn’t working you probably need to adjust your strategy.
Keep your goals at the forefront of each stage in your progressive branding. This will help your company stay focused. On a similar note, keep in mind that your branding schedule is one of your most valuable tools. It will allow your entire organization to measure your progress and identify opportunities for improvement. In the long run it will also save your workforce from experiencing unnecessary stress.