15 Brand Principles You Need
Great businesses rarely just happen; they are designed. No matter what business you are in, every staff member contributes to how you build your brand, how it is experienced, and how it is championed; from administration to finance, product development, and customer service—everyone contributes to the brand and should buy into the brand values.
Even more than that, great brands are conscious and intentional about their core focus and how they are perceived, so it's worth considering the following principles, whether you're a start-up or an established business:
1. Branding is the most valuable real estate in the world — if successfully implemented, you own a corner of someone's mind. Ponder that.
2. All successful branding is based on truth — it's also the easiest way to implement and maintain your communications because authenticity is natural, memorable, and genuine. It's also expected.
3. Branding must be internal before it's external — your staff needs to be your most fervent ambassadors. The mistake is to think branding is only about broadcasting to the public, it has to start at home.
4. Branding is not the responsibility of the marketing department — it’s the responsibility of your entire organization, from the receptionist to CEO.
5. Branding is cultural — it's the collective attitude and ideas of your team. Your brand is as much about individual behavior as it is about collective behavior.
6. Mission, Vision, and Values are lived out every day, not just advertised — these are necessary traits because prospects outside the organization care about what you stand for.
7. Your brand is not your logo — your logo is simply a reminder, an icon; your brand is the relationship you have with your customer. Brand is who you are and how you live your brand promise. Your visuals define your identity. Your message is how you communicate your values. Slapping your logo on an ad is not branding.
8. Your brand is not what YOU say it is — it is what OTHER people say it is. The challenge is managing the public perception.
9. Branding builds awareness and understanding — the logo and communications material are a window to your brand. Consider how you want to be seen. If you're not clear about your brand, how can you expect that others will be? Not sure? Check out our Brand Analysis Quiz.
10. Your brand values are your filter — use it to help decide on everything, from hiring staff to making acquisitions or pursuing initiatives. Your representatives, brand visuals, messaging, and actions must align.
11. Don't just have positioning — have A position. Taking a solid stand will help define your brand's purpose and intent and draw more clients who identify with that same value.
12. Your brand is a long-term and evolving entity — Building and maintaining your brand must be monitored. Hiring a team who can oversee and assure you stay consistent, and that your values align, is a "life or death" decision. It takes commitment and investment to be sure you are presenting the same on all fronts.
13. Your brand is the promise you make — the customer experience is the promise you keep. Make sure you are not just blowing smoke or living the fake-it-until-you-make-it bravado. Clients can see through BS in a heartbeat. Once the fraud is exposed, the exodus is deafening.
14. Exceed expectations — For your brand to have value, you have to deliver over and above the industry standard in product, service, and customer care.
15. Explain your brand purpose in a few words — it is critical to be able to share your values quickly and for your staff to have a response and “mantra” that correctly captures the values and purpose of your company.
©Neon Lizard Creative 2021 | Rebecca Rausch | neonlizardcreative.com | 952.452.0168