BRANDING & IMAGE
Products are made in the factory, but brands are created in the mind.
Developing a well-defined brand strategy is both an analytical and creative process. Inputs include brand architecture, internal insights, customer feedback, and your competitive landscape. Your brand strategy must reveal a single, unifying idea to engage employees, connect with customers and impact real business results.
Your brand strategy must:
Connect the brand to business strategy
Define the company and how it is different
Identify the promise the brand makes to its customers
Serve as an anchor for brand communication and expression
Create a unified image and voice for the entire organization
Inspire meaningful and memorable customer connections
At the core of the brand strategy framework is the brand vision, a short statement of the brand’s purpose and unique market position. The brand promise is the concise, singular expression of the brand’s commitment to customers.
Telling the story behind the brand goes beyond the core messages and key insights about the brand. The brand story is an opportunity to build a narrative around the history or meaning of the brand. Brand stories are an opportunity to connect with both employees and customers in an authentic and genuine way.
The primary objective of a corporate identity program is to build and protect the value of the brand and its trademarks. Tools and guidelines are needed to direct the creation of everyday communications – use of the logo, company stationery, internal and external communications, uniforms, promotional items, and signage. Specific and detailed guidelines ensure the brand is used consistently and correctly across all customer touchpoints.
A powerful logo is the hero of a strong, consistent, relevant and differentiated brand. Providing instant recognition of the brand, a well-designed logo is one of the best investments a company can make. Logos must be carefully and passionately designed to support business goals and to reflect the brand strategy. Great logos are distinct, memorable and timeless.
Brands make a real and measurable difference when the brand is seen as vital to business success, supported throughout the organization and practiced every day.
Every company needs a dedicated brand group, or chief brand advocate, responsible for actively managing and protecting the brand. Brand stewardship responsibilities include driving the adoption of the brand strategy, ensuring creative alignment with brand guidelines and leading the company committed to delivering a positive brand experience at every opportunity.
A strong brand culture requires authentic engagement and action by the CEO and senior leadership. The CEO should not only be the chief executive officer, but they should also be the CBC – the Chief Brand Champion.