I recently realized that we have some of the best clients we could ever ask for. They go out of their way to thank us, to compliment our work, and to support us in any way they can. They appreciate our ideas and respect our work enough to let us be creative and do what we do best. After coming to this realization I started to wonder how we got so lucky. What makes us deserve so many great clients?…and then I realized…we must be living up to our brand promise and thus attracting and keeping our ideal clients.
In a previous post What’s the Difference Between a Logo and a Brand?, President, David Smith stated…
“A brand is the combination of several tools for the purpose of creating “brand equity” or the essence of what people would say about you when asked about your company. It can include (but not be limited to) the logo mark, the color palette, the beliefs, the mission, the product/service, the quality, the value, the positioning, the web site, the brochure, the photography, the trade show booth, the presentation materials, the copywriting, the customer service, the office décor, the employee uniforms, etc. So in essence, the brand is everything you do to tell your customer what makes you awesome.”
What he is referring to but didn’t state specifically, is that your brand extends through absolutely every point of contact you have with your customers, prospects, vendors, postal workers…everyone.
If you carefully construct your brand, communicate it clearly through your organization, enforce it heavily, and strongly control it through every outlet then you will reap the benefits. This doesn’t mean you can’t have fun, but if that’s what you want, it needs to be a part of your carefully constructed brand. If you think that there are businesses out there that are very successful but don’t do this, you’re wrong. Those businesses are most likely missing the first step of carefully constructing but are run by such strong characters with strong visions that the rest of the message and culture flows through them naturally and seeps into the rest of the organization organically.
How Do I Maintain A Brand Promise?
It’s important to note that though creating a successful brand is not easy, maintaining that brand and fulfilling on your brand promise is the truly difficult part. As a business grows, hires new employees, offers new products or services, and cultures around it shift, it’s imperative that it have a brand manager dedicated to making sure that the intended brand promise remains intact.
This is why it’s important to examine your brand vision on a regular basis to ensure you are fulfilling it’s promise. Look at your intended promise and examine the internal and external touch-points to determine where you are rocking the brand experience and where it needs improvement. If you do it right, you should have awesome clients just like ours.
Here’s an outline that will help you get started putting your brand on paper.
- Overarching Vision
- Annual Goals
- Purpose of your Brand
- Brand Picture
- Ideal Customer
- Remarkable difference
- Communication plan
- Current Customer
- Wow Factor
- Marketing Calendar
- Succinct Brand Promise
- Essential Steps to Get Started
It can be a bit daunting if you’ve never attempted it before but I assure you it will be worth it. If you need some help there are plenty of marketing firms that can assist (I happen to be very fond of one in particular). Keep in mind, however, that even if you decide to go full throttle and engage in market research and focus groups, the answers ultimately have to come from you and your team and it will be up to you and your agency to make sure you continue to adhere to the stated brand promise.
This is a topic I can go on and on about so check back if you are interested in learning more about the concept of brand and what that really means for your business.