What does ‘brand’ mean? It’s no mystery
‘Brand’ describes the way the outside world experiences your organisation. The concept is easier to understand if you ditch the word ‘brand’ and think ‘personality’ instead. An organisation’s personality, like yours, is made up of:
The way it looks – design, colours, logos, text sizes, fonts and images
The way it sounds – the tone of voice and style of communications
The way it behaves – the quality of customers’ emotional and physical experience when interacting with your business
The things it believes in and expresses – interests, focus, mission, ideals, aims and ambitions
If you’re starting a new business, the first step is to decide how you want the outside world to experience it. Next, you create a suitably evocative personality via your literature and website design, communications, systems, marketing, advertising and PR.
To turn this fledgling personality into an effective brand, be consistent. If you’re true to brand, your brand equity (ie. the financial benefits you reap from having a brand) will grow organically.
A word of warning: it’s dangerous to act in defiance of your brand. If you sincerely promise next day delivery but don’t hit target, you’re damaged. If your website insists your telesales agents are friendly but they actually terrify people, sales will take a hit. If your sales literature’s in plain language but your quotes look like ancient Greek, people will lose faith.