* Build a better brand

May 23, 2008

Brand Image is defined by the American Marketing Association as:

“The perception of a brand in the minds of persons. The brand image is a mirror reflection (though perhaps inaccurate) of the brand personality or product being. It is what people believe about a brand - their thoughts, feelings, expectations.”

I want you to understand that your “brand” is not just your logo. It is the culmination of all your ethics, how your employee’s dress, how you answer the phone, events you put on, how you handle problems, your advertising, your contracts, ad infinitum. It is also your persona. Consider companies like Harley Davidson, Nike and Victoria Secrets. What do you think of when these companies are mentioned? I would bet it’s a lot more than their products. These companies spend billions to make it so.

Let’s assume here that you have already made the important investment of having a logo designed and a brand guidelines developed so that all of your advertising looks like it comes from the same company, including business documents. Just as important is to make sure all of your staff are on board and believe passionately in your brand and key messaging. Your staff is part of your brand. Consider the lesson learned from a child if you tell them not to lie, then the phone rings and you say “tell them I’m not here”. You can broadcast your message all you want, but if your delivery doesn’t match, it hurts your brand. You need to make sure the right people are on the bus, and they know what your vision for the company is.

I have run into businesses that have about 6 variations of their logo around the office. What kind of document with what kind of brand you get depends on who your contact person is. This causes confusion in a target audience and gives you an unorganized persona. That does not instill confidence in your clients and by proxy lessens your brand.

Every purchase is an emotional decision; To relieve pain or to increase pleasure. We rationalize and justify later. Were this not true, credit card companies would go out of business. That being said, your goal should be to make life easy for your target audience and create a comfort zone. Always keep it simple. You may have a complicated message but you need to communicate it as simply as possible.

The important thing is your brand image. Remember that your brand image lies in the minds of the public; their thoughts, feeling and perceptions of what your company does and stands for. Your logo and your name are the icons people use for that association.

Now get out there and look good!

Chris Motley
Motley Creations
©2008 Motley Creations.

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