The Zen of Branding
Posted in March, 2016
Every business has a brand – that’s a fact. Those who don’t believe they have a brand just aren’t in control of it. You see, a brand isn’t what you say it is, it’s what your customers say it is. This is why it’s so important to give some thought as to how you want your company to be perceived in the market place. And in an increasingly volatile market, consistent, focussed branding is your first line of defence against blending in.
As one of the most important aspects of any business, large or small, a clear and compelling brand strategy is paramount if you’re to have meaningful and effective marketing. But a brand that is zen is more than just the culmination of your logo, your name, your positioning statement, your customer service and the words on your marketing materials.
It’s when every area of your business, every customer touchpoint, is presenting a balanced, clear and consistent message.
You see, brand zen doesn’t just happen – it’s thoughtfully crafted and refined. Your brand has zen when your customers just “get it” and you sleep soundly at night safe in the knowledge your messaging is clear and consistent.
So how can you build a strong, clear brand that creates new, long-lasting relationships with customers while nurturing old ones? Start by asking yourself the following 3 questions:
Is my brand focussed?
An excellent example of a brand that is completely zen is Grill’d Burgers. Pick any one of their marketing channels and you will not only see, but feel, their positioning statement: burgers done good. From their website, to their social feeds – even in-store, their message is consistent and clear: Grill’d makes burgers that are good for you, good for the suppliers and good for the community. A focussed brand delivers one message across every customer touchpoint both internally and externally.
Be clear on what your company’s values and goals are and make sure they’re aligned with those of your customer.
45% of a brand’s image can be attributed to what it says and how it says it.
What are my goals?
The old adage of “if you don’t know where you’re going, how will you know when you get there?” rings true when it comes to setting goals for your brand. A consistent and focussed brand is one with a clear strategy, and you can’t have a clear strategy if you don’t know what your goals are. More importantly, your goals should align with your target market’s wants and expectations.
If you found yourself glazing over while reading that paragraph, don’t worry. Setting goals and defining a clear strategy to achieve them is part of the design process (at least it is with ours) and is the first step towards having a zen brand.
Do I have a clear strategy?
Your brand strategy is the roadmap for how you will achieve your branding goals - and this is one of the most important drivers when it comes to long term success. Analyse your company’s messaging across all platforms - from emails, to social media, brochures, POS materials, the lot. Is it consistent? Do they all work in unison to give a clear, consistent impression of your brand? Another often overlooked factor is marketing/branding budget. If you’re spending too much on pushing out the wrong message, you could be hindering your brand’s long term success.
Finding your brand zen
At the end of the day, a zen brand is crafted from one distilled singular idea, and it’s this idea that should be carried through and present in everything your business does - from business cards, to your website, even the way your staff answer the phone.
When you have a clear answer for each of the above three questions, you will have the beginning of a strong foundation from which to evolve your brand. So take the time, write out your answers, and be really critical. Because when you have a clear idea of what your brand focuses on, what your brand goals are, and how you’ll meet those brand goals, you will on the path to achieving a truly zen brand.