To bring home the bacon, bring home the brand.
If your concept of branding stops at identity (logo development, signage and style standards), your branding is dead, lifeless, bereft of breath, decomposing. Your identity is only a symbol – your brand is your reputation, and you make or break it with everything you do.
You determine your brand with every interaction, from customer service to vendor relations to community involvement. You can leave it to chance, or you can take action. An esd communications strategy shapes – and changes – public perception to reinforce your brand.
branding on the hearts of your public
In business, you are who THEY say you are. “They” are your public – the people who are aware of your business or organization. Your public consists of anyone who recognizes your name and has an idea about what you do:
- your customers, people who know your business by the experience of purchasing your product or service
- current and former employees, who know your management style, business practices and attitudes
- vendors, suppliers, your bank, accountancy and others who do business with you
- people in the community who know you by reputation, by hearing about your business from customers, employees or associates
- people in the community who have seen your advertising, news coverage or other communications, but have not had direct contact with your business
you have to interact to attract
Your corporate persona must bloom beyond shallow identifiers and embody a living, breathing entity, an active presence in the community. Your brand communicates your purpose and intention; it listens to and converses with your public.
how do you choose your friends?
Ask yourself, who is your brand? Is your brand someone you like, a friend you enjoy being with? If you don’t know or like your brand, you cannot expect your customers to know it or to try to identify with it.
People seek out the personalities with which they identify and admire in both business and personal relationships. A prospect becomes a customer by associating your brand with an idea about their own identity – who they are or who they want to be. They seek you out because your brand reinforces their idea that your offer is different from and better than the competition.
branding – a two-way conversation
Effective branding not only differentiates you from your competition – it invites an interaction between you and your public. esd provides a variety of tools that engage your public in an open dialogue with your company and give you an opportunity to listen as well as talk. Your public helps you shape your brand and, in the process, they get a better understanding of your brand, your company, your character. It helps them self-identify as your customers, building and strengthening their loyalty to your brand.
consistent communications maintain your brand
To succeed, you need to nurture, evolve and maintain your brand’s personality. You begin with a strong initial message of attraction, telling people who you are and what you have to offer. You pay attention to customer service, to the interactions at the front counter and all the way through each sale. You listen to feedback, don’t discount pushback and make sure your public – customers, employees, associates and friends – know you have their back.
stick to it
Keep it up. Support your brand with staying power, corporate care that resonates over the long term. An effective brand shows your openness, reflects the lessons that come with each interaction and steers your audience toward a well-rounded, managed perception of your corporate personality.
Clear and consistent branding affords your business the freedom of an adaptable persona with the sovereignty to adjust to changing market conditions, while maintaining a cohesive, trusted voice and identity.
Bring home the brand, and the bacon will come home with it.