Your brand is your fu­ture



A NEW BUSI­NESS opens its doors at 9am on Mon­day morn­ing.

Peo­ple walk past, see the sign, sub­con­sciously note the ma­te­rial from which the sign is made, the con­tent of the sign, its graphic de­sign, the build­ing to which the sign is at­tached.

They see peo­ple com­ing and go­ing from the build­ing; some will be en­ter­ing the build­ing them­selves.

They take the lift, en­ter the new busi­ness’s re­cep­tion area, note the in­te­rior en­vi­ron­ment, ap­proach the counter and talk to the re­cep­tion­ist.

The look and presentation of the re­cep­tion­ist, his or her voice and vo­cab­u­lary are no­ticed.

By this stage, the vis­i­tor has a per­cep­tion of the new brand – both con­scious and sub-con­scious.

Whether it’s a law firm or frozen pea man­u­fac­turer, the brand has now been cre­ated and every­thing that fol­lows will ei­ther add to the vis­i­tor’s per­cep­tion of the brand, or de­tract from it.

And if the new com­pany leaves all of these ‘be­hav­iours’ to chance, the per­cep­tion of the brand will be ran­dom – good or bad, but never neu­tral.

A brand is cre­ated by noth­ing more than every be­hav­iour in which the busi­nesses en­gages. How­ever mi­nor. Or ma­jor.

It is what sep­a­rates com­peti­tors and helps con­sumers re­mem­ber a prod­uct.

The pur­pose of a brand is to in­crease sales by mak­ing the

prod­uct or ser­vice the most vis­i­ble and de­sired by the con­sumer. Brand­ing is be­com­ing more than a logo or a prod­uct. It is be­com­ing a promise of qual­ity and rep­u­ta­tion.

And, as al­ready stated, it is every be­hav­iour in which the brand en­gages that cre­ates and de­vel­ops this.

Ac­cord­ing to Wikipedia:

“Brand­ing is a set of mar­ket­ing and com­mu­ni­ca­tion meth­ods that help to dis­tin­guish a com­pany from com­peti­tors and cre­ate a last­ing im­pres­sion in the minds of cus­tomers. The key com­po­nents that form a brand's tool­box in­clude a brand’s iden­tity, brand com­mu­ni­ca­tion (such as by lo­gos and trade­marks), brand aware­ness, brand loy­alty, and var­i­ous brand­ing (brand man­age­ment) strate­gies.

Brand equity is the mea­sur­able to­tal­ity of a brand's worth and is val­i­dated by as­sess­ing the ef­fec­tive­ness of these brand­ing com­po­nents. In a fleet­ing mar­ket where tra­di­tional lin­ear models of busi­ness are be­ing re­placed by more rad­i­cal in­ter­con­nected models, brand equity is one mar­ket­ing tech­nique that re­mains firmly rooted in pros­per­ity. To reach such an in­valu­able brand pres­tige re­quires a com­mit­ment to a par­tic­u­lar way of do­ing busi­ness. A cor­po­ra­tion who ex­hibits a strong brand cul­ture is ded­i­cated on pro­duc­ing in­tan­gi­ble out­puts such as cus­tomer sat­is­fac­tion, re­duced price sen­si­tiv­ity and cus­tomer loy­alty.

A brand is in essence a promise to its cus­tomers that they can ex­pect long-term security, a com­pet­i­tive frame of ref­er­ence and con­sis­tent de­liv­ery of func­tional as well as emo­tional ben­e­fits. When a cus­tomer is fa­mil­iar with a brand or favours it in­com­pa­ra­bly to its com­peti­tors, this is when a cor­po­ra­tion has reached a high level of brand equity.”


Here are some of the be­hav­iours that are key to de­vel­op­ing and main­tain­ing a brand per­cep­tion:

• Peo­ple – Every sin­gle per­son in your busi­ness is a min­i­mar­ket­ing di­rec­tor and every be­hav­iour in which they en­gage has a brand ef­fect. Ma­jor or mi­nor, but never neu­tral.

• Build­ings – Ex­te­rior and in­te­rior, every­thing must re­flect and high­light brand char­ac­ter­is­tics.

• Ve­hi­cles – From the CEOs car to trucks and every­thing in be­tween. These are highly vis­i­ble and, es­pe­cially those that are sign­writ­ten, can have a sig­nif­i­cant ef­fect based on their age, main­te­nance and the be­hav­iours of their driv­ers.

• Graph­ics – Whether a sign on a build­ing or a logo on an ad­ver­tise­ment, this vis­ual rep­re­sen­ta­tion of your brand is vi­tal.

• Pack­ag­ing – Prod­uct pack­ag­ing must both re­flect the brand iden­tity and char­ac­ter and be prac­ti­cal. How­ever well pack­ag­ing is graph­i­cally de­signed, if the cus­tomer finds it dif­fi­cult to get into then brand dam­age is done.

• Doc­u­men­ta­tion – Cor­re­spon­dence, email, in­voices, con­tracts, em­ploy­ment agree­ments, etc., – lay­out, spell­ing, fonts – the com­bi­na­tion of all of these fac­tors con­trib­utes to, or de­tracts from, the reader’s brand per­cep­tion.

• Hu­man treat­ment – Over­all treat­ment of any hu­man be­ing in­clud­ing, but not lim­ited to, cus­tomers is vi­tal and should never be left to chance. Brand is the per­son­al­ity that iden­ti­fies a prod­uct, ser­vice or com­pany (name, term, sign, sym­bol, or de­sign, or com­bi­na­tion of them) and how it re­lates to key con­stituen­cies: cus­tomers, staff, part­ners, in­vestors, etc.

Leave one or more of these el­e­ments to chance and your brand will be at risk. Plan, im­ple­ment and mon­i­tor each of these fac­tors and your brand will make the huge con­tri­bu­tion to your busi­ness per­for­mance that it re­ally should do.

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