OUR 10 GOLDEN RULES OF BRANDING
Your brand is about your product or service, your people and your customers, and the “noise” you – i.e. what people think about you. Here are our rules to help you align your brand, reduce drag and improve performance.
1) A brand isn’t a nice to have
It is an essential investment in your business, providing a considerable return on investment. Your brand can help recruit the right people, open doors and close deals.
2) Understand your real proposition
Your brand has to stand up to rigorous scrutiny at every touch point . You may have a clear understanding of what you want it to be but if that is not how your customers see it you are going nowhere fast.
3) The business structure cannot define the brand, but the brand can define the business structure – think Steve Jobs exit and return to Apple and the destruction of value that occurred in his absence.
4) Branding is about winning in your own way
Bradley Wiggins and Chris Froome are both winners of the Tour De France, both British but both totally different. We have different expectations, respect and affection for each of them as we do for brands.
5) At the heart of every great brand is a brilliant product
In order to build a long term resonating valuable respected brand, your product needs to be virtually perfect. Brands like DeWALT, Velux and Campagnolo continue to develop and research the brilliant products at the core of their businesses.
6) Good communication needs reciprocating confidences
Brand communication has to be a two-way dialogue. Brands need to be honest with you, even when they get it wrong, they need to understand the impact they have on your lives and equally the impact you as a customer have on their lives.
7) Great brands need great champions
We are not talking about whether or not Clare Balding or Sue Barker will stand up and tell the world how brilliant you are, we are talking about each one of your customers wanting to tell their friends, relations and social media followers what a great experience your brand has provided them. When cynics become advocates you have a truly valuable brand.
8) A brand can’t run too far ahead on its company
Crocs Inc went from start up to billion dollar business in less than ten years. But a business with too many customers is as vulnerable as a business with too few and for Crocs poor planning has meant heavy losses and disappointed customers.
9) Keep searching to find your truth
Everyone has an idea of what their business and product is about but it is dangerous to accept what is often the obvious answer. Is a Coworking space about quality finishes and comfortable chairs or does its success actually depend on creating an environment where freelancers and start ups can be imaginative and inspired.
10) Brands are inside out
Why do people want to work for your business? Why do your customers want to buy your products? That intangible essence at the heart of your brand begins and ends with people and the resonance they have with your brand. It is not what you tell people that wins hearts and minds, it is the regard in which you are held that builds brand relationships.