When it comes to mission-driven organizations, approaching brand development with a deep level of thoughtfulness, planning, and research is essential for a successful and resonating brand identity. Branding is much more than creating a catchy logo and landing clever ad placement. It’s your organization’s purpose and personality that an audience grabs on to, and according to On Brand’s 2017 State of Branding report, building an audience is more valuable than direct sales for over 70% of brand managers.
“Your brand is what other people say about you when you’re not in the room,”
– Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos
Over the years, branding strategy has taken many forms. While appealing to a customer’s sense of personal expression works for some brands, such as J.Crew or Anthropologie, framing a brand as a necessary point of social engagement, as seen in companies like Instagram and Twitter, has proven a stronger strategy for others. To create a truly resonating and successful brand, one must listen to the target audience, find the “white space” to occupy, and speak authentically to that audience’s needs.
Great brands build strong emotional connections with their customers. These ties are based on years of trust stemming from authentic brand promises and are worth far more than any individual product or service.
Take Tom’s of Maine’s brand promise: ‘Help people live a more natural life’. The brand promise emphasizes helping others as well as the importance of being in harmony with nature. These two concepts are present throughout Tom’s of Maine’s branding persona, and fall perfectly in line with the ideology of the company’s target audience.
The best way to build a notable brand is to take several, deliberate steps to best define the essence of who you are, what you do, and who you do it for. At Push10, we execute the following steps to accomplish these goals:
Research & Audit
Study the organizations domain, review proposed offerings and audit marketing efforts to date.
Define & Position
Develop a brand architecture, identify the unique brand promise, create a brand persona, identify brand drivers, and examine the target audience.
Create the tangible, public facing assets such as name, logo, visual identity, color palette, typography, and image styles.
Document and Educate
Create a thorough and detailed brand book to serve as a digest and reference from which future creative efforts such as advertising and marketing tactics can be based.
This strategic process is aimed at avoiding the snare of individual preferences, and establish an authentic brand with messaging that delivers on the brand promise.
It’s important that you re-evaluate your brand on a regular basis. If you reflect back on some of the popular branding strategies of the past century you can see that branding should allow for evolution. A successful brand strategy should combine the lessons of the past with the needs and momentum of the present and future. This holistic approach will ensure every component of branding is tended to, from small scale concerns like color and font, to big-picture goals, like consumer recognition and customer loyalty.