Much like Soylent green marketing has a unique key ingredient.Marketing and specifically branding has been greatly misunderstood. A common misconception is that branding is just the logo. I’d say a logo is probably the easiest part of making an effective brand but is only the visual identifier. A brand is an idea and perceived value by it’s intended audience based on a company’s culture, products, and services. It’s not what you are saying about yourself it’s what other people are saying about you. In a way your brand is an like a person with both a face, muscles, heart, and bones that your customer interacts with.

The “Face” is the visual things you see about a brand. It’s the logo, the colors, font that are used, even the language of your marketing efforts. Your website’s design, your printed marketing materials right down to how you design your fax cover letters look needs to have a consistent visual identity so that people recognize it immediately and associate it to your business. That visual identity takes on a life of it’s own it represents your organizations character.

The “muscle” is the quality that goes into your service or product. How well does it perform? Does the design of the service or product reflect who you are and how you want to be portrayed. Apple excels at this portion. The level of attention they give to every component of their products design is scrutinized down to the tiniest level and they’re known for that.

When you get to the “heart” of branding you get down to the core culture of your business and the employees attitudes in how they interact with each other and their customers. A main principle is a company’s ethics and morals. Are they being honest about who they really are? The importance of being honest and consistent can’t be understated. Without honesty your hiding behind a mask that the customers will see through. You’ll set yourself away from others competitors when you talk honestly with your customers.

Finally there’s the “bones” that give strength to rest of the the brand. These are really the unseen factor to a brand but are just as important. Bones are the business structure consisting of a company’s processes, policies and procedures as well their systems and tools they use to do their job effectively. 

When you are developing your brand or revising it, a good approach is to develop a sense of amnesia about who you are currently and get feedback from your customers and community about how they perceive your current identity. You maybe surprised that how you’d like to be known or what you currently think of yourself aren’t matching up with public perception. Figure out who your target audience is and market your brand towards them. 

 In summary you should continue to strive to better your processes and quality, be consistent and honest about who you are and let your branding build from what your customers are saying about you. Don’t spoon feed them some marketing jargon that glosses over what the core is of who you are. Be precise and work hard to make sure it’s what you want them to say about you.

 

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