Successful branding begins with a defined brand that is relevant to your market.
You might think that since you have a logo, tagline, and business card, you’ve completed your branding. However, unless you’ve defined all five of the key brand elements—position, promise, personality traits, story, and associations you still have a lot of work to do. And, until you’ve infiltrated your brand into every level of your organization and built the discipline of consistency into every behavior, action, or communication both internally and externally you are not yet on the path to a successful brand strategy. Below are five key brand elements that will send you down the road to success.
1. Brand Position
The Brand Position is the part that describes what your organization does and for whom, what your unique value is and how a customer benefits from working with you or your product/service, and what key differentiation you have from your competition. Once you’ve defined your brand position, make it available in 25, 50, and 100-word versions.
2. Brand Promise
The Brand Promise is the single most important thing that your organization vows to deliver to its customers every time. To come up with your brand promise, consider what customers, employees, and partners should expect from every interaction with you. Every business decision should be weighed against this commitment to be sure that it adequately reflects the promise, and at the very least it does not contradict the pledge.
3. Brand Personality
What an organization wants its brand to be known as is determined by its Brand Traits. Think about specific character traits you want prospects, clients, employees, and partners to use to describe your organization. You should have 4-6 characters (5 is ideal), each being a single term (usually an adjective).
4. Brand Story
The Brand Story illustrates the organization’s history, along with how the history adds value and credibility to the brand. It also usually includes a summary of your products or services.
5. Brand Associations
Brand Associations are the specific physical artifacts that make up the brand. The artifacts are your name, logo, colors, taglines, fonts, imagery, etc. Your brand associations must reflect your brand promise, ALL of your brand traits, and support your brand positioning statement.
Additional Notes: Once you’ve developed and defined your brand, you must begin building the brand with employees, customers, prospects, partners, etc. through CONSISTENT execution. Repetition is key to the success of the branding process. Once you have repeated your message, repeat it again and again.
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