A brand isn’t simply your logo, packaging, or clever tagline. It’s not your entire staff wearing matching shirts to show a united presence. Your brand is a collection of many things that come together to give a memorable experience that help people form a specific perception of your products, services, and the experience you provide. A cohesive and consistent brand triggers recognition, builds trust, and instills confidence.
Every business strives to take their brand to the level of achieving recognition, top of mind, positive reviews, word-of-mouth recommendations, customer retention, online buzz, and so much more.
Strengthen Your Brand through Employees and Brand Advocates
Brand advocates are those loyal people who love what you do, what you stand for, and are willing to tell others who you are and why they should love you too. If you’re running a business or organization working on building your brand, make it easy for your best customers, brand advocates, and staff to help. These tips will make your brand consistent, recognizable, and easy for people to identify each time they encounter it. Remember, everything you do is marketing and every component of marketing effects your brand.
- Set rules and guidelines about your brand and how to use it. Communicate to everyone on your team, and enforce it.
- Use a consistent color(s) and know the exact color in all formats (CMYK, RGB, HEX) as different formats are needed for various digital and print projects online and offline.
- Use a consistent/approved version(s) of your logo and be vigilant. No exceptions or poor quality allowed.
- Decide on your business name and be consistent in its form. Will you use the LLS or Inc.?
- Everyone is busy and wearing multiple hats, so don’t assume they know or are using approved versions for what they need like packing slips, email footers, invoices, memos, etc.
- If you acquired a business or have gone through a name change recently, decide on how you are handling the name change and what it is going to be moving forward. Proceed with confidence and be consistent everywhere. No exceptions. Make a list of everywhere it needs to change and what needs to be changed.
- Make sure your contact information is clear, correct, consistent, on everything online and offline.
- Taglines can change over time, as can versions of logos and corporate colors, but be consistent until you make a change. Don’t mix and match older versions with newer versions.
- Shred old business cards, letterhead, etc that does not have your current branding. Don’t be compelled to “use it up”. It’s ok to move on for the sake of making your brand strong.
- When sponsoring events and non-profits, provide your logo, colors, tagline, contact information. Ask they use it exactly as you provide it. Keep it the same.
- If you have a digital version of your letterhead (to email) and print version of letterhead, make sure they match.
- Don’t forget about your outdoor and indoor signage.
- Phone voice mail messages, business cards, email signatures, clothes you’ve distributed to staff, and pens are things people can forget to update and change as branding elements change.
- If you work with a vertical industry like a mortgage company, title company, realtors, bankers, chambers, where you distribute marketing collaterals, keep them updated and consistent with your brand. Is there a stack of business cards, folders, or brochures somewhere with old information?
- Don’t forget about what you may have in storage that doesn’t get used often, such as tradeshow banners, branded tablecloths, etc. You don’t want to pull it out and be in a rush to update it before you need it.
- Your online presence on social media and website need consistent branding with your offline and printed marketing.
- As your staff create social media profiles, make sure they are using the correct form of your business name, and linking to the correct social media links (beware of auto-generated Facebook pages for example). Help them by providing the basics; what phone number and email should prospects find online and use to contact you.
- Other places to consider making your brand consistent is company vehicle logos, wraps, stickers, window decals.
For over 150 years, J-C Press has walked alongside countless business men and women in Minnesota and across the United States helping them with successfully marketing their business and building their brand with professional print pieces. You can trust us to guide you through your next project start to finish. Contact us today to discuss your needs or run your next cool idea past us.