Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Protect Your Image--Stay True To Your Brand

So some people ask, "What is branding?" Steering clear of any cattle, branding in business simply means the identity of a company or product.

A well known example would be Kleenex. Kleenex has done such a great job of branding that many people don't say "I need a tissue," but they say, "I need a Kleenex." Kleenex is the name of the product, but it is now interchangeable with they type of product it is.

 A top priority for any company should be to create a unique branded image & protect that image at all times. This means anytime you print business cards, brochures, promotional custom products, produce videos, post on social media or do any other form of marketing, you should stay consistent with your brand. You have many competitors, both locally & online, that offer the exact same service or product; so you need to differ from them & be unique. You need to make an impact & be remembered. It's more important now than ever before that you stand out.

June 19, 2012, I wrote an article stating four rules for successful branding & company identity. Are you ready for three more?  These have to do with keeping your brand consistent so it well be easily recognized.

Use this as a checklist to make sure you are staying true to your branding when doing your marketing:

Always use your logo. Think about how many people know the McDonald's arches. Better yet, think about how many people DON'T know what the McDonald's arches represent. While you may be a small company & your logo won't be recognized nationwide or worldwide, it will be recognized within your local business region if you brand it properly. Don't skew the proportions of your logo & don't change the colors. If you have a multi-color logo, sometimes you have to print in one color & that is okay, but stick to one of your colors. The ultimate goal is for people to be able to recognize your logo without having the business name printed below it.  That's successful branding!

Stay true to your company colors. Most companies have certain colors used with their logo & their marketing theme, which is great. Whenever possible, always use the color combination on your customized promotional items, when printing your logo on paper such as a newsletter or with your presence online. This consistency of color branding reinforces your brand.

There are some exceptions to this: sometimes it's wise to go with colors other than your own if you're distributing promotional imprinted products at a political rally, school function or sport events. Then it might be wise to use their colors with your logo prominently displayed.

There is a new school of thought which I have doubts about: following a trendy new color........orange is an example. Orange is just not for Halloween anymore. You may have seen a lot more clothing in 2012 from the orange color family.  Same with promotional products. Sometimes with your business, you have to go with the "in" fashion & capitalize on that even if you don't personally follow the crowd. When giving out your promotions, if you give people what they want, including the "in" colors, they will use your promotional custom products more, giving your company more marketing exposure. To decide if you should stick to your company colors or go with a trendy color, depends largely on your target audience, the group you're appealing to.

In both these instances where it could be necessary to stray from your colors, it's more important than ever to have your logo & tagline vividly displayed for your company identity.

Develop a tagline. It should highlight why your company is different from competitors or be catchy & represent the mood of your business. Always use your tagline on any printed product or material. Let it become part of your logo......part of your image.

Overall, the main theme to remember in branding is consistency. Always keep a uniform look & make sure your employees understand this as well so your branding comes across consistent in all forms of communication. Over the long term, your branding will pay off big time & your company will have a much better recognition with not only your current clients, but also with potential customers who have yet to use your products or services.
Stand out from everyone else. Let your image scream out: "Remember me! I'm here!"
Ronni Sherman

No comments:

Post a Comment