When you think of some of your favorite brands, what comes to mind? Maybe you think of a memorable logo, a great brochure, a satisfying color scheme, or a catchy tagline. A brand is much bigger than any one of these components alone, it’s the combination of them all and more.
A brand is the perception that your audience has when they interact with or think about your business. It’s a concept or an idea that is supported by many intentional decisions. Think of your brand as a relationship, it's the story that your customers tell about you.
“Your brand is what people say about you when you’re not in the room.”
Your brand is defined by visual elements like your website and brochures, by the tone of your marketing copy, by the way a client is treated when they call you on the phone, and by the style of the sign above your front door.
In fact, every decision made about your company - big or small - continues to define and redefine your brand.
So, what are some of those defining decisions? There are literally thousands. To start, let’s look at a short list of some of the most critical areas that shape how your brand is perceived.
Where are you going and how are you going to get there? Your end goals, and the actions you take to achieve those goals are critical in showing people what your company stands for.
How do your people represent your company? Are they friendly and personable? Knowledgeable and committed? Responsive and interested? Your people are the living, breathing face of your brand.
How do your people treat each other? And how do you treat your people? Is your company culture motivating and inspiring? The culture behind your business dramatically shapes your brand.
Do your offices or headquarters showcase your brand’s purpose, and effectively facilitate your mission? Are they filled with life, possibility, and energy? Your facilities are home base for your team members, and leave a lasting impression on your clients.
How do you treat your customers? Are people cared for and valued? The way people feel when they interact with your organization is a big factor in how your brand is perceived and remembered.
Is it easy to navigate your website? Do you respond quickly to emails, and social media posts? Your communication tools, and how well you use them, have a big bearing on how your customers feel about your brand.
Does your web copy capture the attention of your consumers? Is the tone friendly or fun or professional or serious? Is your personality consistent? The voice of your business - the way you express yourself through words - has a major impact on your brand.
Do your visuals represent your outstanding company? Are they accurate, unforgettable, and exciting? Do they ignite a response from your consumers? Great visuals set you apart, and get you the results you want.
What are you asking people to do and why? Are you triggering an emotional response from your target audience? The way you motivate people to take action has a powerful effect on your brand presence, and on its effectiveness.
All of these are defining areas that breathe life into your brand. By paying attention to your decision making in each of these areas, your brand becomes brighter, more compelling, and more successful.
Of course, if you only pay attention to what your brand means to you, you risk important insights from the people who are most valuable to your business — your customers.
“Brands are defined by the consumer’s perception, and it’s our job to create a positive impression.”
—Mike Moreau Jr., Creative Director at Harvest Media
Each of the decisions you make will affect your customers’ perception of your brand, and great brands listen closely to those perceptions and continue to shape and reshape their brands to get their desired customer response.
A brand is, in fact, a delicate balance of a company’s decision-making, and the consumers’ perception of those decisions.
So, take a look at your business, and ask yourself, what are the intentional decisions you’ve made to shape your brand? How have they shaped the way your brand is perceived?
By paying close attention to your decisions and the effects they have on your consumers, you can continue to shape a brand that wins you the results you want.
If you have questions about building a great brand, Harvest Media can help! Get in touch with us at 847-352-4345.
Sarah is Director of Marketing at Harvest Media. She loves working with business owners and key decision makers who have a vision for the future and want to take their marketing strategy and business growth to the next level.