You are Not in Control of Your Brand

The sooner you can understand this important concept, the sooner you can be on your way to enjoying a successful brand.  Here are the 3 fundamental branding rules to understand:

1.      You own your core brand, and your core brand should embody:

  • Authenticity: Being true to you
  • Benefits: Providing what your customers care about
  • Communication: Knowing that you are always communicating

2.      Your audience can and will shape your brand.

3.      The more cohesive your brand messaging is, the bigger you can grow.

The art of successful branding is making sure brand perception matches brand reality.  Hence the importance of cohesive messaging so your audience can understand why they want to connect with your brand, and how to connect.  If you want to make an engaging, memorable impact that resonates with your target audience and endears them to your brand; take a look at these three areas:

  1. Inner Brand vs. Outer Brand (i.e. Consistency)
  2. Brand Messaging (i.e. Directness)
  3. Brand Messaging Delivery (i.e. Confidence)

Building positive perceptions and customer relationships are critical to your success. If you consistently make a good impression, you’ll be able to build a reputation that precedes you by raising your profile and visibility. If you brand successfully, your target audience will be able to mentally recall you when thinking about your industry.

Let’s take a look at a popular airline tagline/slogan to demonstrate what I mean:

“Still serving meals at mealtime.  Chew on that.  Work hard. Fly right.”  This sets the tone for the brand, and what you as the audience will expect when you encounter this brand.  If your brand experience doesn’t match, then this brand is in trouble.  On Monday, I posted the following quote on our Facebook page: “To the service customer, your contact people are your brand.”  ~Don Sexton, Ph.D.  This means that your contact people are an extension of your brand, and that they {this includes you, since you are the pilot of your brand} have the power to make or break your brand reality.

Put on your customers shoes, take a walk, and see what you can discover about how your audience experiences your brand.  Most brands have gaps, and since the brand owner is too close to the subject, it is in your best interest to also bring in an outside perspective to find out if your brand perception matches your brand reality.

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