Businesses that believe and invest in brand do better than those that don’t.
Here are the reasons why:
- Because they are strategic
- Because they have a clear point of view
- Because they like to communicate
- Because they care about empowering their employees
- Because they care about building relationships with their customers
- Because they know appearances matter
- Because they have high standards
- Because they want to be consistent
- Because they are efficient
- Because they know how to manage growth
Because they are strategic
The best businesses and organisations believe in strategy. They have a clear view of where they are going (a Vision) and they have a clear understanding of how they are going to get there (a Mission). Effective strategy helps every business to think about the forces shaping their marketplace and ensure they are anticipating the future and preparing the organisation for the challenges and opportunities ahead. If they have a clear business strategy then by default they should also have a clear brand strategy because the latter is just the palatable explanation of the former.
With a clearly defined, documented and communicated strategy then everyone knows where they are going and why.
Because they have a clear point of view
The best brands stand for something. They have a strong belief in who they are, what they do and most importantly why they exist. They want to make a difference and they feel quite strongly about the political, economic, environmental, social and technological changes that we all face. If you don’t have a clear point of view, then who are you and what do you stand for?
With a clear point of view then other people will start to identify with you and will want to join your conversation.
Because they like to communicate
Leading businesses take time to develop their organisational strategy through effective, two-way dialogue with their people. When they have debated and defined their strategy for the future, they want to clearly explain it so that everyone understands and can play their part in helping to achieve a shared ambition. You can explain a business strategy in a dull and uninspiring way very easily. Most do. But the best businesses bring their strategy to life through engaging and inspirational stories that capture the hearts and minds of employees, customers and partners. Communication shouldn’t be an obligation, it should be a way of working.
Listening and talking helps you build better relationships at every level. Being social is an important aspect of being in business.
Because they care about empowering their employees
Why do effective leaders take the time to develop strategy and create business plans? It’s not because it makes them feel important but because a clear strategy and a detailed business plan will help their people to deliver the right results at every level of the organisation. It’s like trying to build a house but not sharing the detailed plans with the plumbers, electricians and carpenters who are trying to help you.
Empowering your people is essential for any business interested in long-term sustainable growth.
Because they care about building relationships with their customers
People want to do business with other people that share similar values, behaviours, personalities and identities. We all seek out other people who are similar to ourselves and who we think we may get on with. Brand is partly about communicating the essential character and qualities of an organisation in a subtle way so that it appeals to a specific audience. Get the service personality and tone-of-voice right and you will be halfway there in starting a meaningful relationship with the right customers for your business.
We buy products and services from people and businesses we like and are like. It’s as simple as that.
Because they know appearances matter
We live a hyper visual world and standing out is becoming harder and harder. Confident, well crafted, simple identity systems are able to attract mindshare because they are the antidote to busy, chaotic, shouty promotions from so many others. Knowing how to use colour, typography, illustration, photography, graphics, layout and textures will give your visual presence the edge.
Every aspect of your visual appearance is a tangible reinforcement of the core values that underpin the whole ethos of the business.
Because they have high standards
Think of any super brand and they will all have exceptionally high standards: BMW, Apple, CocaCola, Virgin Atlantic, Sky, Tiffany, Disney. This list is endless. Through their brand, these organisations are able to articulate what they do and do not do because it is so meticulously well defined. Everyone who works for these organisations knows what good looks like and they have an innate sense of what it mens to be ‘onbrand’.
High-performing organisations have very clear standards that people uphold because they care, not because they fear retribution if they get something wrong.
Because they want to be consistent
From Atlanta to Zagreb, global brands know the value of being consistent. That doesn’t mean you can’t be flexible in response to local market needs. With a well designed brand, individual pieces of communications start to add up to something much more than the sum of the parts. Consistency reinforces the message and builds confidence and credibility.
In a frenetic world, customers find comfort in brands that are reassuringly consistent.
Because they are efficient
Brands save time in the long run. If you’ve put the effort into creating a brand strategy, supported by a strong messaging platform with a flexible brand identity system, then whenever you need to create a new piece of internal or external communication, half your job is already done. You know a lot of what you want to say and how you want to say it. You know what it should look like. You even know what media and channels are likely to be best.
Save time by investing in templates, content and assets that can be shared with your internal and external communications partners.
Because they know how to manage growth
Brands help you to scale up. Quickly. If you are able to define what made a business successful in the early years and codify that so that everyone shares the same ambitious spirit and adopts the same day-to-day behaviours, then replicating success just became a whole lot easier.
Successful brands tap into the spirit of the original start-up to understand what drives them.