New Delhi: “An image is not simply a trademark, a design, a slogan or an easily remembered picture. It is a studiously crafted personality profile of an individual, institution, corporation, product or service” said, Daniel J. Boorstin.
You’ must have heard the branding gurus’ mantra – brand or be branded. Well, it’s true. If you don’t go about the process of creating a personality for your company, one will be created for you and usually it is not good. A good company “brand” is on purpose. A bad company “brand” is by accident. So whether you are a new company just getting started or a well-established business in need of a facelift, here are some things to consider when building your brand.
Who are you right now and who do you want to be? Jot down words and phrases that describe the current personality of your company, positive and negative, and then separately write down words and phrases that describe the type of company you ultimately want to be. These are what you will refer to as your company’s “buzz” words.
What do you want people to feel when they hear your name? When you read the words that describe your company’s current personality, how does it make you feel? How does it make you feel when you read the words of who you want to be? Assign words to each of these feelings so you can see the contrast of who you are and who you want to be and the way it will make others feel if you stay the same or if you do the work to change.
Let your personality come through strong and clear
Push your persona through the entire organization. But don’t just talk about it – be it. It cannot be an act. You have to make sure, just like your mission statement, that you can easily carry off the personality and that you can stick with it in everything you do from marketing, advertising, client servicing and employee relations. Give people the tools and they will use them. Don’t give them the tools and they will make up their own.
What is the look that you want to project
What are your company’s current colours? How do they make you feel? Think about this generally and then choose colours that you believe will make others feel good just by seeing them on your materials. For example, yellow may evoke happiness, red may trigger a feeling of anger and light blue may be soothing.
What will your logo look like? When thinking about a logo, think of the shape and size of the image or images that you are contemplating and how they mesh with the colours you have selected. You only have one chance to make an impression with your logo, so consider it very carefully. Develop a catch phrase or tag line to accompany it.
What will your website look like? Now that you have selected colours, logo and tag line – how will you incorporate those onto your website? What verbiage will your website contain that conveys the personality you have chosen? It bears repeating that all of your marketing and advertising materials need to send the same message and give the same feel to clients and visitors.
Don’t go for the overkill
Also remember that sometimes less is more. You only have a few seconds to grab people surfing the web and even if they purposefully visit your website, if it is not well put together, informative and easy to navigate, they will leave quickly.
Think about a trademark. Consider filing for a trademark so no one else can use your brand. You spent all the time making it great, now protect it.
What does your company do well and what sets you apart from competitors? Make sure that the message is relayed in all of your marketing materials. Don’t put your competitors down, just make sure the messages you send are clear that your company is unique and is the only real choice.
Get the word out with volunteerism and community involvement. At those events, dress in a manner that upholds your company’s personality and conduct yourself the same way. For example, if your company touts that it “conducts business with kindness” as mine does, it would not be fitting for me to be anything be friendly, outgoing and smiling at these events. Walk the walk and talk the talk.
While branding can be an overused word, I still contend that it is vital in developing a successful company. Your ultimate goal should be that any time someone comes into contact with your company, whether it be through written materials or personal communication, it’s intended personality comes through every single time!
Jane Schulte is COO of PRISM Title & Closing Services and author of ‘Work smart, not hard!’ and ‘BOLD leadership’