During the process of building a cohesive brand, it is essential to focus on the internal aspect of the brand and then execute externally. It is best to operate in this order because sorting internal affairs will allow for everyone involved to be on the same page about brand execution. When there is a shared plan and expectation about the vision of the brand, the direction of the brand, as well as the image and message, it is easier to portray a unified brand message that can be delivered to the public. When this internal aspect is not cohesive, you run the risk of displaying mixed messages to the public and potential consumers may be confused about who you are and what you offer. As you form this cohesiveness and a strong internal brand focus, you will be able to create an effective overall brand that can be formally introduced to the public eye.
Both of the internal and external brand components encompass a comprehensive approach to your brand. This includes aspects such as your brand promise, brand identity, core values, brand personality, visual identity and communication.
A brand promise pertains to the experience that your brand’s customers can expect as they interact with your company. It is important to deliver on that promise so that customers can associate a strong value to your brand as a whole.
Brand identity consists of brand elements such as visuals, logos, typography, design, graphics, and so on. These establish the visuals that can be associated with your brand, and this aids customers in building a stronger representation of your brand in their minds.
The core values of a brand refer to the beliefs and values that the company stands for and believes in. As you build these core values, ensure that they are passionate ideals that you are proud of and are happy to share with the public. This helps to guide your brand’s story and behaviors as the company operates.
Brand personality concerns the set of characteristics that can be credited to your brand’s name. Usually these characteristics are personified characteristics that customers can relate to and enjoy as they engage with your brand.
Visual identity is similar to brand identity as it encapsulates much of the visual aspects that customers, clients and prospects will see as they experience your brand.
Brand communication is a vital aspect of building a brand, as it pertains to how your brand communicates to the public about itself. Fostering a concise, clear, consistent voice and tone will relay to your audience the necessary information about who you are, what you’re selling, what your values are, what your goals are, and how your product or service will benefit them as your customers.
These all work together, both internally and externally, to form an effective and loyalty driven brand that will have customers coming back for more.
To expand more deeply on external factors, here are some of the aspects that it consists of: attributes, benefits, customer values, self image, value proposition, brand position, brand image, and relationship.
Brand attributes refer to the emotional and functional associations that are assigned to the brand by the consumer.
Brand benefits touches upon the actual benefits, or value, that accompanies the use of your product or service. This could be either an emotional benefit or a rational benefit.
Customer values involve the customer’s perception of what the product or service is worth, and also what other product or service alternatives may be.
Self-image is about the way customers envision themselves relating to a particular brand. As a brand, you can utilize this self-image to your advantage and incorporate that into your brand’s identity or values – making your brand appeal to a more relatable idea.
Value proposition refers to the promise that is to be delivered to your customers and how customers should expect it to be delivered.
Brand proposition pertains to the promise that you as a brand make to your customers. It is essential to make your brand proposition as engaging, relevant and easy to understand as possible, and it should convey the future goals of the brand.
Brand image consists of how your brand is seen and perceived by the intended target market, as well as the public. Maintaining a strong brand image is essential, as a poor brand image can deter customers from engaging with your business.
The brand relationship encompasses the consumer-brand relationship. This is about how customers, clients and prospects feel and think about your brand, as well as the current relationship they hold with your brand, product or service.
External factors play a large role in the attractiveness of your brand, as well as your brand’s reputation. This will engage customers with your business and invite them to deepen a mutually-beneficial relationship with your brand.
In respect to the internal component of a brand, it consists of: company culture, mission and vision, brand purpose, organizational values, and core/kernel values of your company. These aspects pertain to how your business is run and the relationship you hold with both staff and employees.
Company culture in specific pertains to the behaviors and values that play a role in the environment of your business. It is how staff feel when they work at your company, how they interact with you and how they interact with other staff and employees.
In regards to a brand’s vision and mission, the vision statement focuses on tomorrow and the mission statement focuses on today. The vision will depict what the company ultimately wants to become and the mission will focus on how to get there.
The brand purpose’s goal is to convey what the brand’s reason for being is, beyond pure financial gain. This will relay the deeper purpose for why the brand is here.
Organizational values describe the principles that the company will obey, no matter what. This represents the fundamental values behind your company that will help to guide your brand as it evolves.
The core/kernel values represent the fundamental beliefs of your organization that will guide the behavior of your brand as it navigates the path for goal achievement.
All of these aspects of the internal brand component will help to dictate how the business is run and what is important to the business as it grows.
To not only build an effective and attractive brand, it is also important to build brand loyalty. Brand loyalty means that you’re creating a long-lasting, fruitful relationship with your customers in order to secure repeat business. To effectively build up brand loyalty, here are some vital tips:
1. Stay True to Your Brand
When you work diligently to stay true to the nature of your brand, as well as the core values and statements of your brand, customers can recognize that. This will help to portray to consumers that you are a cohesive and trustworthy business.
2. Be Transparent
It is vital to never lie. Trust is the most essential ingredient for the longevity of your brand, especially in regards to the bond you build with customers, partners and staff alike.
3. Deliver on Your Key Brand Promises
Once you establish your brand promises, stick to them. The more authentic you are about adhering to the promises you set forth to customers, the more they will trust you and want to engage with your brand. It is pertinent to always deliver on quality and value.
4. Get to Know Your Clients and Customers
Clients and customers are the heart of any business. It is always a great idea to get to know clients and customers on a personal level if you can, and not just on a professional level. The more you care about them and what they get out of your business, the more likely they are to return.
5. Be Consistent
Being consistent in regards to all aspects of your business, i.e. mission statement, brand promise, brand identity, etc., the easier it will be to navigate and grow. Your audience will know what to expect from you and this allows them to return to you with hopes of that desired expected experience.
6. Become an Industry Leader
As your business grows, it can be very fruitful to become an industry leader. You can become an industry leader through networking with other thought leaders, speaking at events, writing bylines for well-known publications, and so on and so forth.
7. Always Focus on the Customer Experience
A major fallback for brand owners is that they begin to focus solely on selling their products or services. Although that is very important to business, you want returning, satisfied customers. Ensuring that their experience is nothing short of amazing can make a large difference in the long run.
8. Be Ready to Pivot
During operations, your business will expand and grow. As an owner, it is important to stay on your toes and be ready to pivot either due to unforeseen circumstances, new trends or staying relevant through innovation. Stay ready and be excited to go the extra mile and provide value over everything else, as this will be a determining factor in the success of your business.