A lot goes into building a brand – from the logo, to the verbiage used, to the look and feel of every touch point. But building a brand’s identity doesn’t end with the creation of brand guidelines or creative designs. Consider some of the most reputable brands out there: Google, Heinz, Shopper’s Drug Mart, Samsung, Tim Horton’s. Aside from having impeccable control of their branding, they are all loved and trusted by the public. That doesn’t happen overnight, so here are 6 key things that will not only help you build a positive brand reputation, but stay in control of it thereafter.
Building the Brand
Step One: If starting from scratch, you’ll have to work to set a visual and brand identity your customers will embrace. Ensure that all elements (from the colour palette to the tag line) reflect the values you want your brand to convey and that they fit the overall strategy.
Step Two: Once you’ve set your brand identity, stick to it with a brand guideline document to help keep your staff and vendors on the same page. Document all your branding and make it easily available to ensure that any marketing materials will be produced consistently going forward. There’s nothing worse than working to cultivate a brand only to have it compromised by inconsistencies, so having the right logo, fonts, and colour codes handy can go a long way.
Step Three: Communicate clearly and authentically to help build your audience. Whether it be through blogs, social media, or other channels, building your connection to customers helps them to trust you. Deliver on your promises and stay true to the brand’s voice.Maintaining the Brand
Step Four: After launch, be sure to monitor how your brand is doing through feedback from customers or social media. While it is not possible to control every customer service interaction, responding to feedback or engaging over social can positively impact your reputation and prevent backlash.
Step Five: Reinforce your brand through marketing assets or promotional items that are produced with high-quality materials or co-branded with reputable brands. Particularly for newer companies, piggybacking on a premium brand can help people to associate your company with value, whether it’s as a gift or through the professional uniforms your staff wear
Step Six: Equip your sales team with great marketing collateral so they can build your brand reputation out on the road. Be it at a conference, trade show, or sales call, having the right assets can create a positive experience for the customer (rather than embarrass your company). Consider an easy online company store to allow for virtual ordering and fulfillment of your pre-approved materials so that you can have confidence the right branding is being represented.
While your brand may be starting up and not yet at Google-status, it is important to remember that clearly setting the brand strategy is what guides your marketing efforts. Documenting brand guidelines and making it accessible to the entire organization will ensure that when it comes to branded merchandise the brand stays in tact.
Click here to download a Promotional Buyers Branding Template