It is time once again explore the absolutely fascinating subjects of brand and brand strategy. We’ll pick up our conversation again with some useful definitions.
Brand. Your company’s brand can be thought of as its image in the collective mind of the marketplace – its personality, promise, and position as perceived by your customers and potential customers. Even if you haven’t done anything about your brand, you have one. It might be minimal, but it is there. Just as the productivity gurus tell us that not making a decision is a decision in itself, not purposely developing a brand still leaves you with a brand. Your existing brand is influenced by the sum of your public communications – sales calls, web content, emails – plus whatever other material is out there, including press coverage, customer reviews, and competitor propaganda. Obviously your customers won’t have read every scrap of information available to them about your company and your product, but what is out there is all they have to go on. They aren’t swayed by your good intentions or the content still sitting on your editorial calendar, waiting to be created and released.
Another way of looking at this is to say that your brand is rooted in the past. It is the sum total of all the impressions the public has formed of you up until this moment.
Brand Strategy. Your brand strategy, on the other hand, is all about the future. A brand strategy encompasses aspirational notions of what you would like the marketplace to think of your company. So brand strategy leads, and if it’s effective, brand follows. Brand strategy is difficult to do because it must accomplish the trick of being authentic and enduring while at the same time serving your business strategy, which is likely way out in front of the market and will certainly change over time. As brand technologists, we love these sorts of problems, because they cut straight to the core of what a business is all about and solving them tends to require a lot of exciting new thinking. Also, solving these problems keeps us very busy, professionally speaking, which we like a lot.
This is why it’s important to know that the Distility 1day1brand Workshop won’t instantly change your public brand. What it will do is create an internal brand for your employees, and it will also create a brand strategy: a vision that is authentic and compelling and supports your business goals, something that can guide your communications going forward, including design, message, and customer interactions.
For our next post, we’ll bring SEO back into the picture and fit it all together.