A brand is one of the most powerful tools on the planet for an organisation. It can help stakeholders to understand how your projects, services and products compare to other organisations offering a similar service and make them stand out in your sector. A good brand will encourage stakeholders to use your services and buy your products repeatedly.
Many organisations will spend lots of time and money to establish a brand by creating an organisation name and a tag line with associated values – all of which will show great promise. Brand awareness is built into company culture and all the right things are done to ensure that the brand fits with the organisation’s core values to make sure they can honestly deliver what the brand promises.
Read the top 10 branding tips below to find out how to maximise your brand, create a brand if you have don’t have one and maintain the brand that you have spent so long to create.
Dos – How to Get it Right
1. If you already have a brand, assess its value by comparing it with your competitors. What does it stand for? What associations does it conjure with your stakeholders? Has it kept up with the times? Review it and consider a re-design or re-brand if your brand is not working for you.
2. If you don’t have a brand, get one! Brands help people to identify with your organisation’s proposition – what you are about, what you stand for etc. Your brand is a vital aid to correctly ‘position’ your organisation and what you do. Get it right first time and prepare a written brief for your designer, even if it takes longer and involves looking at more options. The design brief needs to include anything you feel is relevant, including how your organisation started, the areas you cover, your mission, vision, aims, objectives and who your stakeholders are etc. A good designer will also tease other influences out of you, but they must have a clear understanding of the objectives of your brand from the start.
3. Think about how and where your brand will be displayed. Ensure the shapes and colours will work in the media and formats you use e.g. on screen, in print, on buildings and vehicles. If the branding will be used on a tangible product, will it look right when the products are on display for example?
4. Once you have created or refreshed your brand, wear it with pride. It’s an opportunity for publicity, so announce it with a flourish. Keep promoting your new brand – make sure it is seen prominently on all your products and marketing communications.
5. Make sure your brand is used correctly and consistently – never allow someone else to make their own version of your brand or logo. Ideally, ask the original designer to produce a brand manual or guidelines document, and make sure suppliers receive it and use it.
6. Review your brand from time to time (maybe every two years) to make sure it is still delivering your objectives and keeping you distinct from the competition.
DON’T’s – How to Kill your Organisation’s Branding
So you have your fantastic brand in place – time to relax right? Far from it! The best branding is an ongoing unified effort that should never stop. Even the most popular brand in the world can be killed – deliberately or by accident. Below are the most common mistakes that kill brands. Memorise all of them and if you catch yourself doing any of them, turn it around fast.
7. Inconsistent Corporate Identity – An organisation must use the same name, logo and tag line in every communication sent internally or externally. The organisation name must match what is on your business card and website. Branding won’t be achieved if you choose to use only one or two marketing avenues to get the word out (like only radio, or newspaper ads). Your stakeholders must hear and see your name, logo, tag line and colours consistently over and over again in many different ways before your brand is imprinted on their minds.
8. Poor Visuals (or no visuals) – If you want your organisation’s name to pop into someone’s mind, be aware that pictures are more memorable than words especially for visual people. Have a consistent visual picture and logo to represent your company, create a strong company visual image (logo) and make it known.
9. Not Training Employees – Think of your colleagues, trustees and volunteers as potentially walking, talking billboards. Make sure they know how to represent the organisation’s brand – train them to be community ambassadors in your marketing campaign. Reward them when you find them doing it right.
10. Not Knowing Where Successful Branding Starts – Successful branding starts inside your company. Your brand is nurtured within the organisation and only you, your staff, trustees, volunteers and supporters truly know your core services and values and can deliver your brand message.
We accept no limits and invite you to imagine no limits to making your brand known in your community and beyond. For more information or advice, call me:
Tel: 07429 903519