When companies refer to their brand they are often simply referring to their logo, corporate font or company colours. That is like saying an individual is just the sum of their height and the colour of their hair and eyes. To know a person is to know who they are – their personality and values. Qualities you have come to associate with that person and trust that those attributes will remain consistent over time. These attributes are often intangible. The same holds true for a corporate brand.
To thine own brand be true.
A good starting point is to determine your corporate persona. Your corporate persona is your deliverable that is intangible. It is the distinct way you represent your business to your customers and employees. If you position yourself as caring then you better demonstrate that in the way you deal with your customers and your staff and within your professional and local communities. Whatever your corporate persona be sure to “own it” and by owning it we mean at every touch point from the way you answer the phone to your social media posts.
If you quack like a duck you’d better be a duck.
Which brings us to consistency. A consistent voice and persona is the platform on which brands are able to build customer loyalty. Where many companies run amok is on social media platforms. Every message and image you post via a digital media platform must relate to or enhance your brand. A mishmash of images and messages that are seemingly unrelated to your brand only create confusion. So before you post that image or message ask yourself how it relates to and will enhance your overall brand. Better still, create a style guide and posting plan to encompass everything from your corporate “voice” to photo style.
Zig and zag but stay on course.
A brand needs to be consistent yet flexible, ready to adjust to changes in the marketplace and the ever evolving world of social media. The danger is to be so focused on consistency that you become boring. Be sure to keep it fresh and add an “on brand” surprise now and then. Kevin Budelmann, president of Peopledesign put it this way, “effective identity programs require enough consistency to be identifiable, but enough variation to keep things fresh and human.”* We couldn’t have said it better.
circus strategic communications inc. creates brands starting with the visual identity through to the style guide and brand voice. Recent visual identity brands include Black River Juice, Navy Bean, Kildonan Place, Haute Dog and FashioniCITY all of which can be viewed on our work page.
*Brand Identity Essentials. 100 Principles for Designing Logos and Building Brands