Branding creates a lasting connection with your consumers and employees
Every successful business has a brand. There are no exceptions. The strongest brands elicit passionate feelings among consumers. The name “Apple” has come to mean something special to the millions of people who use their phones, tablets, and computers. Disney has a self-described “magic” that draws audiences to theaters and tourists to theme parks around the world. Wal-Mart has grown huge by becoming synonymous with low prices.
And yet, defining a “brand” is more difficult than it sounds. It’s not a logo or a catch-phrase or a special offer, yet it could incorporate all three. A brand is best described as a feeling people get when they think of your company. If you build your brand properly, customers will be more likely to return for second, third and fourth visits, they will bring in friends and family, and they will give you good reviews on social media. A strong brand insures that customers come back even during times of crisis.
The most important part of branding is consistent messaging. This is about more than just marketing and advertising. If you are building your brand on service, your employees need to demonstrate a commitment to the customer in every interaction. If you are building your brand on price, you need to constantly scan the competition to make sure your pricing stays aggressive. If you are building your brand on luxury, you can’t cut corners anywhere, and if you do, you need to make sure they’re invisible.
A breakdown in the messaging chain is like a broken circuit, it won’t work properly and people will say “I was promised X and I didn’t get it. This is a lousy company.” Customers are smart, they know when they are being sold a lie.
A brand must permeate your company’s culture from top to bottom. Internal communications should reflect your branding as much as your advertising. So should your office décor in both public and employee-only spaces.
Your hiring and promotion decisions should take the brand into account as well. Employees who buy into your brand will be proud of where they work, will have higher morale, and will be more likely to say positive things about your company to their friends and family in their free time. Employees who don’t buy into your brand are more likely to be cynical, bored, and difficult to work with for both customers and co-workers.
Once you’ve set a brand for your company do not waver until you create the culture you desire. If you need help crafting your brand messaging internally or externally, contact the JPR group at (973)980-0100 or e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org.