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Sep 16 2015

Fall in love (again) with your brand

Brand 1

Do you feel the cool breeze signaling the beginning of autumn? Don’t let your business hibernate until the new year. Take control of the remaining months and end the year with a bang! Our three-part September blog series will help you give your business a mini-brand makeover, create an end-of-the year communications plan, and showcase your expertise to lead your industry.

3 steps to re-calibrate your identity

We are bombarded by information all the time – it’s just the world we live in. And we all know how hard it is to focus with so much going on at once. So it’s more important than ever for companies to stand out from their competition. Yes, we mean you.

But how do you do this? You need to create a brand that is identifiable, relatable, and – above all — memorable.

We all hear about branding, but few know what it actually means. It’s not really as complicated as it seems. Simply put, a brand is how your clients perceive your services or company. It encompasses everything from your visual identity to your messaging. Above all, it needs to be consistent. And to be effective, you want to engage clients with your branding and establish strong, lasting relationships.


Speak your clients’ language

Number one, you need to be strategic. You won’t get every client out there – and you may not want to. Your branding needs to appeal to the specific types of clients you want. From the outset, you’ll need to know about your clients, their values, and their goals. This knowledge is a critical foundation for your company’s brand messaging. Without it, you’ll spend a lot of valuable time and money on a scattershot approach. Focus your efforts on the type of clients you currently have and clients that you aspire to have.


Stand out from the pack

Second, you don’t want to match your competitors – you want to outshine them. All of them. Your direct competitors serve similar clients and offer similar services. Your indirect competitors may operate in the same markets but offer different products and services.

Above all, your brand needs to be authentic and reflect your company’s unique qualities and competitive edge. You want to highlight your distinctive attributes and identify ways that your firm stands out. For example, you may have a proprietary design process, an innovative construction method, or an unmatched technology. If no one can claim these same approaches, make these differentiators work for you.


Get in alignment

Once you understand how you measure up to the competition, make sure that your brand identity aligns with your business goals and your marketplace. This is brand positioning. You want to make sure that your brand speaks to your targeted audiences and gets you noticed. It must represent what your company does and where you want to go.


If you brand it, they will come

Once you understand your position in the marketplace, start to create a consistent visual identity that has a unique logo, fonts, color palette, etc. Make sure that your identity reflects your firm and appeals to your audiences. For example, you may want to use bold, bright colors to attract a younger demographic. Your audiences may be local or they may be national. You may want to be more serious or inject a bit of humor. Remember that your brand needs to encompass everything from the services you offer to the benefits you bring to your clients, your personality, and your values, vision, and mission. The same brand needs to be carried throughout your website, collateral material, social media platforms, etc.

Once you have done this exercise, be sure to engage your staff in becoming brand ambassadors for your firm. Then go forth and conquer!