You need a blueprint.
Would you build a house without a blueprint? Um, no.
So why would you build a brand without a masterplan?
You might say, brands do it all the time. Yes. Yes, they do.
But as they begin building and adding on, the foundation can’t support it. Cracks and leaks happen. Extra time and money are spent fixing the damage.
So, invest the time, effort and resources needed to eliminate any unforeseen issues down the road. This is your investment. Give it a blueprint so it can easily grow dividends now and in the future.
Your blueprint should include:
- Market Assessment & Competitive Research
- Brand Strategy, Positioning & Core Differentiators
- Brand Personality & Voice
- Values, Purpose & Culture
A strong foundation.
Would you construct the walls of a house without having a foundation to build from? I hope not.
Even a good shelter on Survivor starts with a basic plan. And a base to build from.
So, what makes building a brand any different?
A foundation is your structure. It’s the basics. It supports who you are. Sets the tone for your framework. And communicates play by play to your team and anyone else who may be involved in constructing your brand.
Your foundation should include:
- Logo, Colors, Typography & Overall Image
- Messaging Platform
- Brand Guidelines & Standards
Some tools to help you build.
So, I have a blueprint and a foundation. But I need to construct some walls.
You might say, I want some of the walls to be circle and others to be square. And some walls neutral, others a rainbow mix of bright and colorful. This will really make my house stand out.
You’re right. It will. But for all the wrong reasons. And it will be super confusing to everyone that sees it.
Your brand is no different. That’s why it’s important to have a toolbox full of tools. It gives your brand consistency. Recognition. And offers the same experience at every touch point.
Your toolbox should include:
- Identity Materials (aka: business cards, letterhead, email signatures. You get the drift.)
- Templates (aka: PowerPoint, email, social media, sales. Whatever your needs may be.)
- Internal brand knowledge (aka: your team is critical to your brand’s success. Don’t leave them in the dark.)
And a framework to get you started.
Now let’s put your tools to good use. And start building your brand. There’s nothing more exciting than seeing all the hard work come to life.
But keep in mind, building a good brand takes time. And consistency. Announcing your new brand won’t be enough. You need to ensure it’s consistent at each touchpoint. Then really push it through each marketing channel.
Your framework should include:
- Advertising. Print or digital. The channel doesn’t matter. But the execution of your image and campaign message should tie to your brand platform.
- Branded Environments. Your new image needs to extend to any environment your team or clients interact with. This includes things like signage, décor, messaging, packaging, etc.
- Client Communications. Your new brand voice should shine through any communication touchpoints (traditional or digital). And carry the same tone and consistent message of what sets you apart.
- Client Gifts & Promotional Items. The gifts you give. And the attire you put your team in says a lot about your brand. So, if you’re positioning yourself as higher quality, don’t give away pencils.
- Conferences & Tradeshows. The whole kit and kaboodle – from planning to execution and on-site management. Just having a presence isn’t enough. You need to be the cool kid on the block. Leaving a big impression and having folks talk about you.
- Digital Experiences. Your digital presence is often the first thing a prospect interacts with. Whether that be your website or social media platforms. They need to connect and set the tone for your brand position. And showcase some fun too. Because frankly, who wants to do business with a company that takes themselves too seriously?
- Employee Engagement/Recognition Programs. Because they are the heart and soul of your brand. You should take care of them. And ensure they are aligned with the image and messages you are pushing. If not, you’ll have a huge disconnect.
- Packaging. Pick me. Pick me. Even though there’s nothing special about what I offer. I do look pretty cool. Have something interesting to say. And appeal to your senses. So why not give me a shot?
- Public Relations. A little hype around your new brand is a good thing. You need visibility. Credibility. And a reason for people to trust you. Go ahead, showcase your wins. Talk about your plans. What’s new. And why you’re a leader in your space.
- Sales Support. You need to arm your sales team with the right tools. So, they can thrive and survive. Pitch the same story. Each. And. Every time.
So, let’s create a blueprint now. That builds a strong foundation. Puts the right tools in place. And gives your brand room to adapt, grow and sustain all the challenges along the way.