The Key To Building Brand Effectively
When we talk about building brand, folks usually get hung up on the execution – the doing.
This is the fun part. Where we get to pontificate endlessly about logos and colour schemes, website wireframes and the perfect tagline.
Or they get hung up on social content, with the view that social media is just media, the way television and radio was.
But the execution of a brand isn’t really branding. At least not anymore.
Once, a great logo and sexy advertising were enough. Enough to cut through the noise.
Before the internet. Before social media, and TV On-Demand.
I remember a time when our television only had three channels. Three. And two of them didn’t show advertising.
It was comparatively easy to get in front of people back them. Building brand is a lot simpler when you can just pay to interrupt someone’s attention.
But now, in our digital world, the noise is everywhere. And this isn’t just from advertising – every day we’re busy making noise for each other.
Peer-to-peer reality TV, one Instagram feed at a time.
Yet in the face of this, we still obsess over word marks and positioning. Those things have their place, but they’re not as important as they once were.
There is a consideration far more powerful than even your most exciting powerpoint. Yet in my experience, it’s often overlooked.
The key to building brand effectively, is conscious interaction.
In using the word interaction, I don’t mean the way someone interacts with your Facebook ad. I mean how someone interacts with you, your staff, your brand experience.
How you answer the phone? That’s branding. How you deal with suppliers? That’s branding too. How your staff conduct themselves on your behalf? Also branding.
The conscious part is being aware of this. Understanding your brand, and communicating those values effectively to everyone who represents your brand.
Unfortunately what tends to happen, is a company will present itself in one way, but the reality will be far different.
The ‘trusted’ agency who overcharge their clients. The ‘people-centric’ service provider who hates talking to people.
The result, is an inauthentic experience. And whether you have customers or clients, eventually folks tend to notice.
So how can you go about building this conscious interaction? It takes time and a lot of work, but it is worth it.
Without going into too much detail (otherwise this post will be 3000 words long), here are the top-lines:
- Work to understand your brand. Ask yourself what it is, who it’s for, and why should anyone care. If you can’t answer these questions, keep at this point until you can.
- Personify your brand. If your brand was a celebrity, who would they be? How does your brand sound? How does it feel?
- Write down the answers to 1 & 2 into some kind of statement – this could be your mission statement, an entry in your diary, or tenets on a stone tablet if you’re feeling particularly inspired.
- Refer to this statement often – before you go into a meeting, or in an interview, or when the phone rings.
By building this conscious interaction in your daily activities, you’ll create a stronger idea of what your brand is, and how it should be experienced.
You can then work to communicate those values, and use them to steer your proverbial ship.
After that, you’ll find the execution won’t be something to get hung up at all.
– Greg Bunbury