Avoiding a Brand Identity Crisis - Starting with ValuesJan 13, 2022
Do you ever feel like your brand identity gets lost in the day to day operations of the company?
You aren't alone! Maintaining a strong, consistent company brand takes effort and a bit of planning.
The Beckmann Collaborative team usually asks new clients about their brand values, brand guidelines, and overall brand identity while we are onboarding. Surprisingly, the responses to these questions are often something like, "here's our logo, but we don't have any guidelines or anything."
Our reaction internally is something like this....
While a brand can be whatever you want it to be, not knowing or sticking with your brand identity is a problem.
Brand Identity: This is your brand's outward expression. It includes the company name, logo, brand values, value proposition, and all communications. It is how the world recognizes your brand as uniquely you.
There is much more to your brand identity than a logo.
Yes, the visual designs for your brand are important. However, there is more to it than a logo and color palette. If you're not sure whether your company is facing a brand identity crisis, then consider these 4 key areas of your brand.
Before engaging in any digital marketing efforts, your company needs to define its purpose and know what you are offering. What should customers expect from your brand?
Knowing your value proposition can help you to develop better, more relevant content. "A value proposition tells prospects why they should do business with you rather than your competitors, and makes the benefits of your products or services crystal clear from the outset." (Wordstream)
The next layer is defining your brand values. These are the beliefs that the company follows - not just for marketing, but also for how the entire business operates on a daily basis. They shape your company culture, which naturally impacts the customer experience.
Brand values are NOT about your product or service. They are a reflection of the people running the company.
If you have never documented your brand values, now is a great time to do it. The good part is that you aren't aiming to be creative or catchy. The values are innate in how you already operate, so it is really about reflecting on what is true and documenting it.
Beckmann Collaborative's brand values are: Freedom, Wisdom, Collaboration, and Integrity.
If you don't know your audience or target customers, then you have a big problem.
Small businesses especially need to know their ideal prospects to reach them where they are and in the right voice. If your ideal prospect turns out to be a 60-year old executive from Texas and you're trying to connect with him on Instagram, then something is wrong.
Your brand identity includes an understanding of your audience. That is how marketing efforts can attract qualified leads and your sales team can turn them into customers.
Are you a creative person interested in may different things? If you are one of those people with lots of different hobbies and interests, you may also sometimes suffer from Shiny Object Syndrome at work.
The next big software that will "fix your business" may sound exciting and like a great solution. But if you don't actually have a problem with what you're using right now, it's a shiny object distracting you from what actually matters.
The same concept applies to your brand identity. Perhaps you just read an article from a competitor about how they are launching a new feature or service. It sounds very exciting. Maybe the competitive side of you wants to one-up them and launch your own version. Stop right there!
Shiny Objects lead you to inconsistency in your brand identity. If something you're doing in your operations, marketing, sales, or product/service development does not align with your brand values, then it is a bad idea. Accept what it was and move forward.
If you only skimmed this article, then at least use this last part as a checklist of questions to ask yourself this year about your brand - to avoid a brand identity crisis.
1. What does your business and brand deeply wish to be remembered for?
2. How do your big company goals align with your brand identity?
3. How do you build trust and community with your customers?
4. Is your company operating based on your brand values?
Need support with defining your brand identity? Let's talk about it