The Rewards of Being Dedicated to Your Brand
In the everyday hustle of running your business and it’s easy to shift your focus entirely on to operations and away from strategy, especially brand strategy. Yet, a dedicated brand strategy can yield more results than the smoothest operations structure. After all, if no one is aware of your brand (and therefore your business), who will experience all of the hard work you’ve done to make sure their experience is enjoyable and your business highly functional? Committing to a dedicated brand strategy is an investment you won’t regret. First, it takes a shift of attitude. In everything you do, you have to be brand conscious. This can take some getting used to, but everyone should feel this way, from the owner of the smallest espresso stand to the leader of a brilliant engineering services firm. How to be more mindful of your brand:
Begin every day by affirming your brand’s identity.
We’re not going to get spiritual on you here, but what we’re asking you to mentally acknowledge that state of your brand and the experience it provides. This will lead to greater mindfulness, which will lead to consistently making decisions that are themselves "on brand."
Commit to completing at least one brand exercise per week.
Take time to evaluate a digital or physical asset, such as product packaging or social media. Is it on point? Does it support your brand? Could it be improved?
Start creating brand goals.
That is, start creating goals directly related to experience/existence of your brand. These are separate but not unrelated to growth goals for your business. Perhaps your goal is to have sell 100 additional products a month. Great. Maybe your brand goal is to have packaging designed that creates a unique unboxing experience that gets people sharing on social media.
Dedicatedly working on any combination of these three tactics will shift your mindset to a more brand-oriented leadership style. But, why? You opened this post to learn why should chase the benefits of a more dedicated brand strategy. Here’s why:
Brands that promote themselves have increased recognizability.
Focus on putting your brand forward reinforces your identity in all that you do. Putting your brand forward is often as simple as reiterating your branding whenever you mention your product or service. That can translate to how you write about what you do and how you visually present it. Are you being sure to distinguish between your product or service and your competitors? Are you using neutral packaging? Develop your own packaging. It’s also about promoting your identity. If you’re an environmentally conscious brand that uses only local products, publish a story about it. Write those characteristics into a tagline. Doing these things creates a visual imprint of your brand in the minds of your audience. When they’re scanning shelves, or social media feeds, they’ll see your visual identity, or recognize your tone and style of writing and know it’s you.
Brand strength allows for flexibility.
Increased recognizability isn’t simply about visual recognition. It’s about building a relationship between your brand and your audience. The more authority you build and the more time you spend consistently delivering the same characteristics (friendly tone, attention to certain issues, etc.), the stronger your brand will be. There is value in this strength. Perhaps you want to launch a product or service that you know will be risky to introduce. A brand loyal audience is more likely to try that product out knowing that your brand is behind it. They’ll have a sense of the quality it will possess and the experience they’re about to have. In other words, a strong brand following allows you to experiment outside of the box a little.
Brand prominence builds trust.
The loyalty of your audience and the recognizability of your brand translate to value in other relationships as well. Your vendors and other entities that you partner with will value their relationship with you, and those relationships will increase in value because of your brand value. The increased recognizability may also draw in new entities that hope to partner with or work with you in some way. This trust and sense of value in the business community is important. The more you have, the more opportunities your brand has to grow.
A dedicated brand strategy can accelerate growth for your business. As brand strategists, we will tell you that a brand strategy starts with identity and then communication. At Markon we often say that half of the battle is just showing up. In this case, that means just being mindful of your brand in all that you do.