Branding is more than a logo. You’ve got a rep to protect. Building a brand you can stand on.
A wise man once said that your brand is what people say about you when you’re not in the room. In other words, you really have your work cut out for you if you want consumers to consistently say nice things while your back is turned.
To make sure that impression of your brand remains consistent, you’ll need to determine your brand standards—and stick to them.
The best way to do that is to create a document in which your company is dissected and reviewed at every level of communication. Whether in the boardroom, on a billboard, or in a pitch to potential clients, a brand standard identifies how to communicate and present your brand to an audience of one or millions. Your brand standard should answer some of these questions:
- What is your brand?
- Does your audience recognize what your company offers?
- What are the guidelines in place that show how your team communicates with each other, potential clients, existing clients, vendors, etc?
- What are the guidelines in place that show how you are visually represented?
Not sure how much your brand matters? The general public may use brand as a deciding factor in a final purchase. As a matter of fact, a recent survey by Nielsen produced evidence that 60% of consumers will purchase from a brand they trust. They know that consistency matters.
When you establish a standard for how you communicate and with whom you communicate, that first impression will consistently leave your audience with the lasting impression you want them to have. Setting up your brand and starting those conversations is the first step. A brand consultation can help you to answer them, if you don’t have the answers. Once you have accomplished that, it is crucial to know how you will maintain and grow your brand into something consistent and recognizable. In order to reach that point, you will need to remember to include certain points, such as:
- Positioning statement (who your audience is)
- Key message (what you want people to remember about your brand)
- Brand statement (a short summary of who you are and what you stand for)
- Visual representation consistencies (colors, fonts, and logo that will become associated with your brand)
- Examples (showing exactly what those visual representations look like)
From the logo design, to the website, to the positioning on a banner when you sponsor your kids’ school walk-a-thon, your brand must be presented in such a manner that always leads people back to your firm and tells the public that you are professional.
Plan Left can help establish the brand standard and help to ensure that every time your brand is seen, your audience finds a consistent and professional image that matches the services your firm provides.