You don’t? Why not?
The fact is each of us and each of our businesses are special in some way. And our challenge as business people is to find ways that best describe our uniqueness.
Branding is much more than having a logo and business card. It’s the expression of your identity across a myriad of marketing materials and messages. It’s your website, your ads, the way you answer the phone and even the way you conduct business. Done right, branding is the expression of your uniqueness to the marketplace.
Is your company more responsive, more casual, or more user-friendly?
The collection of adjectives that describe your company are unique to your company and not easily replicated by others. You’ll never be all things to all people but to some people, you’ll be perfect.
Successful companies realize that they can really only own ONE place in the mind of a consumer. For example, when people think of Volvo they think of safe cars, Ferrari, on the other hand, elicits an entirely different perception. While Volvo may come out with a high-performance car they will never own the place Ferrari has earned in the mind of the consumer. And if Ferrari came out with the world’s safest SUV they would still have a great deal of “performance car” perception to overcome.
Done right, branding is the expression of your uniqueness to the marketplace.
Market research on consumer perception can tell you where your brand is currently living in the consumer’s mind (if they have any awareness at all). If your brand is not being perceived the way you want, you can effect change, over time by carefully crafting different messages and building a new identity that reinforces what you would like the perception to be.
Perceptions do not change overnight but real change is possible as your company speaks in different ways and presents itself differently as well.
Abercrombie and Fitch is one brand that comes to mind when I think of successful brand overhauls. Founded in 1892 as an upscale sporting goods store, this was a store where gentlemen could avail themselves of a sturdy elephant gun, pith helmet and jodhpurs for their adventures in Africa or polo mallets and saddles for a weekend at the club.
In 1988 the brand was revived by Limited Brands as a preppy, teen brand featuring beefcake photography by Bruce Weber (of Calvin Klein fame). An entirely new A&F was birthed through the use of sexy imagery and marketing prowess. A&F launched a magazine, sprayed its signature cologne throughout the store, had scandalous shopping bags and was known for hiring attractive young men to serve its female customers and women to serve the male customers. A&F became about sex appeal and urban life.
While you may not be looking to “sex-up” your brand, we can help get you find the essence of your brand and express it to the world. We’ve done it for others and we can help you too. Let’s find out what makes you so special.