By Joe Jones Vice President
We have all seen and have had images branded into our minds daily. When you drive down the street and your two year old starts yelling, “fries, fries I want fries” as you pass the Golden Arches. When you are watching a movie and notice the Apple laptop sitting in the background of a scene. These brands become part of our lives and when these brands have reached ultimate status they become the product instead of being a product in a category. Instead of searching for something online we now say “Google it”. Instead of a tissue we say “Kleenex”, or mp3 player we say “iPod”. All these companies have learned how to brand themselves. They have made it a primary focus to be consistent and convey a clear message. When you receive an email from Apple you know it’s Apple. The identity is clear and that email is filled with the content & imagery that is packaged around this wonderful thing we call a Brand.
These companies make sure everything they do, say, achieve, promote, live, and breathe is constantly establishing their brand. Even though these companies have reached this ultimate status, they still maintain the goal of establishing their brand.
In business it’s easy to get distracted by new trends, styles, or directions. There needs to be a huge value placed on our consistency. Nike has kept that swoosh for years. Through different trends, styles, and countries it remains the same. They have brought some creativity by changing only the colour of the swoosh but the brand remains the same. One of the key principals in establishing your branding is trust. As a consumer you know what the company stands for, what they offer, and how they offer it. If a company had no goal for longevity then how valuable would the brand actually be?
When establishing the brand these company didn’t just think of a logo and what font and colours they would use. They thought of the very architecture of the organization. Apple has gone as far as establishing an entire ecosystem of supplies that support their business operations. The suppliers are forced to understand the company, its values, and their social responsibility while offering innovation with the highest level of quality.
In business we need to also make it our priority to NEVER SACRIFICE. When we buy coffee for our in-office meeting, look at it as an opportunity to build a brand. Offer the best tasting coffee so you can build brand with every sip. When you send out an email, make sure that signature matches the company identity. When printing your letterhead and business cards make sure the colours, fonts, and taglines are all identical. When the phone is answered does your greeting have your brand attached? When customer service is in operation are your procedures being fueled by the company’s brand? Everything we do should be constantly matching our brand and our message should always be clear.
If we desire our brand to center on reliability and quality then everything else we do, regardless of how minimal the task may seem, should have that same characteristic. This is by far not an easy task and it’s a given that we will not always succeed. This is why as business owners, our brand becomes more then just the logo, the colours, the fonts, and the message we say, it’s the driving force behind us. In a nutshell the Brand should be continually molding us to be better. We should never try to define the brand by sacrificing its character.