Your brand is not your logo. It’s not your mission statement. It’s not your name. Your brand is the world’s perception of who your company is and what you do.
Why is it important?
Everything that your organisation says or does contributes towards this perception, whether you intend it to or not. If you know what you want to be known for, you can use this to your advantage – shaping your actions and communications to point towards a desired interpretation. If you don’t, you can’t. Your brand is an asset to your company. Just like the buildings you own, the tools you’ve developed, and the people you employ. And just as with any other asset, a brand can be left to languish, slowly depleting in value and chewing through your resources. Or it could be used to make you money.
What makes the Apple brand successful?
The Apple brand is now worth £95,660,000,000. It didn’t get that way by chance – it has been carefully considered and executed, so that every aspect of the company is unified in leading the customer towards a designated conclusion. What do you think of when you think of Apple? Most people answer this question with words like “innovation” or “good design” – but why do they think that?
What does a good brand look like?
As with our Apple example, your definition of who you are needs to be true inside and out. Internally, your brand is about your company culture, your values, what you can deliver and how. But even the greatest company would fail if no one knew what they had to offer. Externally, your brand is what you tell people it is: what do you sell? What do you stand for? Are you funny, smart or sexy? But even if you beat these points until you were blue in face, it would count for nothing if you didn’t deliver.
That’s why the internal and external brands need to work together. They need to join forces and show the world that you are who say you are.
If you’re doing it right, your brand will:
- Plainly show who your company is and why you’re different to the competition
- Have a distinctive personality that is appropriate for your target audience
- Be consistent in its messaging and design, reinforcing the position, promise and personality at each touch point
- Demonstrate the value that your company provides for the customer, and how that value is created
- Change with the times – a good brand doesn’t stand still
But what if you’re not doing it right? See our article on how to build a brand in 5 steps for a handy ‘listicle’ to ensure your brand is healthy.