There has been quite a bit of discussion surrounding the topic of branding around the JUMP department lately (hint, hint: exciting things coming soon!). A re-occurring issue with our current and prospective clients stems from a bit of an identity crisis. The thought of rebranding, or really branding in general, can be overwhelming to small and medium businesses. What they don’t realize is there are multiple ways to implement branding efforts without breaking the bank. Therefore, we are creating a 5-part mini blog series on the subject of branding. Our next several blog posts could be considered a “starter guide” to branding on a budget, whether it is a 50 year old company with an identity crisis or a startup just getting on its feet.
The Importance of Branding
A brand is the entire customer experience surrounding a company and is an essential foundational building block of a company. There are two elements of branding: the creative and the functional. The creative gets most of the credit (logos, colors, etc.) but the functional is what elevates that creative piece. The functional tells the brand story, the company promise, and the value proposition of the brand, who the company is and why they exist. The functional causes emotional connections and keeps customers coming back for more.
The key to linking the creative and functional elements of a brand is consistency. “How do I answer the phone?”, “How do I respond to that email?”, “What should the website say?”, and “What should we post on Facebook?”, “What should we wear to this event/trade show?”, “Which events/trade shows should we even go to?” A brand strategy defines the approach to every one of these questions and should be ingrained throughout the entire company. Consistency in the brand message across every aspect of a business is the difference between a brand and just another company.
There are several steps to adopting a flawless brand strategy and it doesn’t happen overnight. Sometimes the first step forward is to take a step back. Analyzing your brand as it stands is the first ingredient to moving forward. After understanding what your brand is doing, research and planning will determine what your brand should be doing. A strong implementation plan is only a piece of the puzzle, but the ability to adapt your brand as consumers tastes change is the difference between a MySpace and Facebook situation. When it comes to strategy, it’s important to remember that it is impossible to be everything to everyone, but with strong and consistent branding you can be the right thing for the right people.
Check back to our blog throughout the week for more insights to your branding needs. If you are ready to take the plunge, contact us to get started with your rebranding needs or check out some of our work!