Any firm should have its brand identity in mind when crafting a long-term strategy. At certain times, as when launching a new website or implementing a major marketing campaign, a careful survey of a firm’s brand identity is mandatory.
A firm’s “brand identity” refers to the collective total of a company’s marketing efforts. For your marketing efforts, your future customers form connections with and an image of your brand. Your brand shapes how customers see your company.
Whether you’re in field of B2B or B2C selling, survey of your brand identity requires a lot of information at various steps. Here are some essential steps as part of your firm’s brand identity checklist.
A Firm’s First Steps
For the most successful companies, a brand also refers to a story that enthusiastic customers associate with the firm. A traditional story involves a narrative arc that concludes with triumph—what is the story that customers will associate with your firm? What are the aspects of your business that set you apart from your competitors? What do customers see as your firm’s values?
Market research should answer questions about how customers and prospective customers see your brand.
Speaking of customers, if a firm is about to undertake a redesign or rebranding effort, customers should not be caught off guard. Know what your customers value about your brand, build on that, and also lay the groundwork for the future unveiling.
Getting The Details Right
At this point, you know what customers think about your brand, you know what needs it fulfills, and you should have a good idea of what obstacles are in the way of expanding.
—Who is your audience, and what story do you want your brand to tell the public? Today, brand storytelling is the cornerstone of a content marketing strategy, and your story will shape your brand identity. Your story should be straightforward, memorable, and have a note of emotional impact.
—What is your visual aesthetic? Do you need to overhaul or streamline your look? Your firm should have a unified design concept, which is simple, striking, and attractive. The most highly regarded brands have iconic logos and visual designs—think of the minimalism of Apple or Google. A unified design concept means paying attention to small details, like having the same typeface on both your website landing page and your business cards. These details go a long way to cementing you in the customer’s mind as a firm with a coherent and complete identity.
—Does your brand have a ‘voice’? This might be one of the trickiest aspects. Your firm should obviously have a blog and social media presence in order to disseminate your message to customers. However, a “voice” refers to the literary equivalent of a unified design concept: it means that your messages have a reliable tone and draw from your brand identity.
As far as maintaining your brand identity, who is in charge of that specific task? Any firm should have some sort of brain trust whose remit is managing the firm’s brand identity. This person or group will have both the firm’s current status in mind, as well as devising a long-term strategic vision. A brand identity must be carefully cultivated, and someone will fill that role.
When you’ve gotten major details right, you’ll have to make sure that everything is right behind the scenes.
—Are all the links working and are all your new web pages connected and functioning as intended?
—Are your SEO terms, keywords, and metadata updated? These are granular details that will have a tremendous impact on your web presence, and we’ve heard of firms that sink a major redesign by neglecting their metadata and then plummeting down search result pages.
—Is your visual aesthetic implemented uniformly?
Once you’ve got the strategic vision implemented and all the details worked out, you should be almost ready to declare victory.
The Finishing Touches
Are your employees clear about the nature of your firm’s brand identity? Communication lines should be open so that expectations and goals are understood clearly. Clarity on your firm’s brand identity is crucial since your employees will be the ones who are communicating that identity primarily to customers and prospective customers.
In a post on conducting successful integrated marketing campaigns, we explained the four key elements of creating integrated marketing campaigns. They were: coherence, consistency, continuity, and complementary. Keep your brand identity first-and-foremost in mind as you implement subsequent marketing campaigns.
Has your firm implemented a major rebranding effort recently? What were major points of your brand identity checklist, and what do you wish you had known?