How To Establish A Solid Company Brand
There’s no denying the power of a memorable brand. There are countless brands in this day and age that resonate deeply in people’s lives. But the big question is – how do these companies achieve their success?
Any experienced marketer can probably serve up harrowing stories of trying to find their voice amongst a sea of competition. In order to survive in our fast-paced, ever-growing, digital world brands need to be memorable. People remember people and stories first and foremost followed closely by things they know they can trust (interactions or product uses that have provided favorable outcomes in the past).
A great resource for building a brand comes from Jake Hurwitz, a creative entrepreneur from Boulder, CO. Jake currently works with Boulder Bits, a technology startup/ consultant company; as well as the Eyesight Collective, another creative startup from CU students. Jake has an insightful training that discusses the top items to assess when building or recreating a brand. In a nutshell, Jake tells marketers to ask and answer 5 questions about the brand.
The first of these questions is why? Why do you do what you do? Get down to the core and ask difficult questions. Does the company mission align with your own morals, goals, lifestyle, and identity? It is crucial to know the identity of your brand! This often leads to tough choices, but for true branding, that is real and creates an identity - the team needs to be explicitly clear on what the company mission is and feel like they have ownership of it.
The next query is the ‘playground test’. How would you describe your brand as if it were a child on the playground? Would it be a leader at top of the jungle gym? Or running around crazed? Or shy, playing a quiet game in the corner? Asking others to describe your brand in this way is a unique way to gain insight into your brand that you might have otherwise been blind to. Ask a large enough sample size and you will start to see trends. Is the forming image what you want? If not, assess steps to get to be that ‘ideal’ kid that you envision for your brand.
Next, we need to understand customer fully and ask the question of who is our target persona? Jake recommends getting to know your clients at their very core, better than they know themselves. Dig deep and ask levels of questions. This technique could cause some fear of narrowing down your target market too much - would this create missed opportunities? Most of the time that is actually a good thing- you want to hit the correct mark and hit it hard. Catering to many different leads or different user groups will lead to segments not being well maintained or an unclear vision for growth. Having one core market and reaching them fully and well is how to create not only brand recognition but customer loyalty as well.
Continuing on, one of the most important questions marketers can ask is: what is your value? Customers use businesses, services, or products because it does something for them. It completes a task, it fills a hole in their hearts, makes life easier or more productive, etc. What do we really do for our clients? How do we make their lives better? And how do we do it better/ faster/ cheaper/ more efficiently than our competition? If you truly make a difference in the lives of our customers it will resonate with them, and more often than not, they will reuse your services or spread the word for your business virally; which contributes directly to the success of your brand. A great way to help establish your brand’s value is to utilize influencer marketing strategies.
The last, and possibly most exciting, inquiry is: what is your style? Do you tend to be serious/ fun/ colorful/ solemn/ loud/ efficient/ thorough….etc. What makes your heart sing, gets you energized, fills you with purpose? Clients need to be matched with companies that mirror their styles so being upfront with your company’s style is vital to successful client interactions and expectations.
Building a recognizable and memorable brand, though challenging, can make or break the success of your business. Branding is often associated with new business development, but whether you are an established business owner who has decided it is time to assess your brand or a new business trying to create brand awareness, Jake’s framework can offer an ideal strategy to expertly/ clearly guide your branding efforts.