I do a lot of marketing work for a large corporation that has multiple offices around the globe. It’s quite an established brand within its industry and almost what you would call a house hold name.
It’s been some time since taking over their digital presence and to be entirely honest, I’ve hit the ground running with what seemed more urgent at the time whilst realising that I’ve failed to present and maintain their branding.
To my defence, the company has never focused on their online space, has no marketing plan, and certainly paid almost no attention to the brand and how this presents to the outside world.
As unacceptable the oversight may seem, I scrambled to get a grip on what needs doing so that I can implement the necessary changes.
It’s at this point when your brain fires up and you start thinking about branding as a whole. Traditionally branding (the bulk) is done upfront before launch and the job moves to maintaining the brand. Sure, there are times when you completely re-brand but that’s another story.
What does Branding Mean?
When I think about branding and what it means for the end user / customer- it’s almost too easy to get fixated on style, colours, design, and unity across all mediums.
Maybe it’s more than just perception, it goes back to the core of your business.
- What do you offer?
- What is your value adding proposition?
- How does your product or service benefit the customer?
I see branding as the core message that you want your brand to present to customers. The simpler this message, the easier and MORE EFFECTIVE your branding efforts will be.
Identifying this message can often be extremely difficult when you are a smaller hairdressing salon (one of three local shops) for example. You all offer competitive pricing, great service, best styling, and free coffee.
This is where one really needs to dig deep, turn all your features into benefits and then benefits into a value added proposition for your target market. A quick “how to” – here.
Why is it so important?
A great brand is unique (even in busy markets). Think of your brand as person that is looking for a partner. We all know that everyone has their own unique tastes and even in a room full of compatible mates, there will always be the one that catches your eye and sparks fly…
Marketing gets you in the room and branding makes sure that you stand out and you smell good.
Branding is often overlooked. Having a website, branded stationary, and social media accounts does not mean you are set.
Reality is branding is a lot more than just perception, design, and a colour scheme. It’s the message (true, core, value adding, stand out message) you want to present to everyone in the room in order to catch the attention of that one.