Branding Strategies – Establishing your Brand Voice & Identity
Matthew Plughoff is the owner of Arrow & Fletching. They focus on bringing a company’s story to life in the eyes, hearts and minds of the customers. Along with Jennifer Bagley from CI Web Group, they are on a mission to bring branding tools to you in order to help you take your company to the next level. CI Web Group develops tools, strategies and assets that make your phone ring. When combined, this powerful combination is the only recipe you need for success.
Branding and Who You Are?
It is important to identify who you are as a business. In other words, what you want your business to portray to the public. You, as a company need to know yourself inside and out in order to allow the public to see that as well.
In old English, to burn is to brand. This is essentially what branding is. It burns your business and what it stands for into the minds of your past, current and future customers. Branding is what people identify with your brand and it incorporates how they feel when they see your brand.
Great brands are all about the people affiliated with the brand. These successful companies have largely been built with the end-user in mind. By keeping the experience and feeling of the end-user in mind, you eliminate the possibility to make yourself seem commonplace (yes, boring!). When you are just like every other company on the block, your services become price driven rather than brand driven. The customer has to see the difference and feel the difference in order to build that loyalty or bond with you or your company. When your brand makes an impact you will find that customers will take ownership in referring to your company as “my HVAC company” rather than “an HVAC company”.
Logos, trucks, colors, name and taglines are not the brand. These are tools that are used to shape how people feel about your brand.
Your brand is going to grow regardless of what you do. If you want to create something that reflects a part of you, you have to build it and guide it on that path. If you don’t do that it is going to grow anyway, but the growth will be out of control and could possibly lead to disaster. You have the ability to dictate how the public views your brand. Get behind the wheel!
Throw Down the Gauntlet
Now is the time to accept that challenge. Sit down with a professional and allow them to question everything you think you know. Don’t stop there! Sit down with your customers and allow them to pick your mind even further. This is how you begin to understand how you are viewed. Create a gut feeling within the customer that is one they speak of positively, one that allows them to take ownership of your brand.
A brand should be created with a strategy in mind. There is both science and art in the creation of a brand. While the development of a brand is a proven process, there will be times when you will feel uncomfortable. A combination of science and art is what allows you to formulate a brand that is distinctively you. You must bear in mind that there are also things that you can do that could negatively impact your brand. Be consciously aware of everything that you do and the impact that it could have.
Now is the time to be comfortable being uncomfortable.