Why well-managed brands produce great returns

We’re building a brand!

Let’s review what we’ve done:

  • We’ve identified our key message points (our message sheets)

  • We’ve discussed “proof points;” stories and numbers to back our claims

  • We discussed our brand’s voice (brand voice sheet)

  • We’ve talked about tone (on the brand voice sheets)

  • Discussed our brand strategy (branded house)

  • Begin to talk, as a team, about branding

Derek and I are getting all this organized for you as we transition from training to our web refresh. This is relevant, and I think we should congratulate ourselves on several key wins. Between our training and the audit, we are an organization that is getting serious about branding.

But if we stop here, we won’t accomplish much.

Why? Because our brand needs to be sustainable. This is more detail on our brand management conversation from last week. It’s easy to come up with branding ideas. It’s hard to institute them.

This week, let’s talk about that. Here are a few key suggestions.

Your Brand Should Be Part of Your Strategic Plan

Your brand is your reputation. What’s more important to manage?

Make time for strategic brand discussions in your planning process. I recommend having two-to-three achievable S.M.A.R.T. goals for marketing as an organization.

Connect your goals in other areas (like healthcare and resale) to brand growth. Growing a brand is a team effort. In “one-woman marketing shops,” it’s important that every business area contribute as appropriate to building the brand.

Set real goals for brand awareness and find real ways to measure them. The two easiest measures are perception and awareness. You can either commission these studies or you can prepare them yourselves using relevant email, survey, process and social media data.

How Does Your Brand Work?

The next step is to consider how you can grow your brand. What areas are easiest for us to leverage (signage ready for replacement, website pages)?

Next up — how do you work together as a team to make sure your brand is consistent, in-voice and relevant?

A few things I recommend — have a brand approval process for any branded material. Don’t be too fussy, but be thorough — not individual emails, but email signatures and templates. Make a list and prioritize these by highest impact and take them on one or two at a time.

Secondly, save time in each of your strategic meetings to discuss and reinforce your brand. Bring examples of things that look great, share stories that reinforce the message and reward people who are brand heroes. Branding should be a positive experience.  

Don’t be afraid to talk about the brand and even train team members on the brand. It doesn’t take a lot, but just a few minutes of helpful training can go a long way to empowering an organization.

So, how does this tie into what you’re doing? A consistent brand gets results. Good brands are in it for the long haul.