You’ve finally done it! You’ve got a professionally-designed logo and a catchy, clever slogan. You’re ready to release your brand onto an unsuspecting world!
Not so fast!
It used to be that having a trustworthy logo and a memorable slogan were enough to ensure that your brand was competitive and high quality. With countless brands all vying for the same users both online and off, it has become much harder today to make your brand voice recognized over the din of “me too” competitors.
So what should you do?
Bring Out Your Brand Personality
If your target audience is starting to waver, it’s likely because your brand’s personality isn’t showing (or showing enough to make them notice). Your brand personality isn’t a mission statement and it’s not a slogan — although parts of your slogan can be considered a facet of your brand personality.
Rather, your brand personality is how you want others to perceive your company. Fun and quirky? Stalwart and sensible? Rugged and dependable? Your brand’s logo and everything that makes up the brand itself should be positively dripping with this personality. You want it to come through on letterhead, on profile photos and cover photos, on everything that makes your brand what it is.
If not, it’s just going to be viewed as another voice in an echo chamber of competitors.
Adhere to Your Brand Values
Your brand values differ from your brand personality in that your personality is what you showcase to others, while your values are the rules that your brand lives by. These two things are often relatable to each other.
For example, if you sell climbing equipment, you might want your brand to be perceived as rugged and reliable. But your values are likely centered around safety and quality. Although all of these things can make up a brand, you want people to associate your brand with its values. Logos and taglines might change over time, but values are tried and true. They’re like the anchor of what makes your brand unique and memorable.
It’s also worth noting that you can’t fake brand values. Nothing causes your target audience to flee quite like a mismatch between your brand’s voice and the values it claims to hold dear. And unlike times in the past, words spread faster than ever today. That’s why having and maintaining a brand positioning that’s clear, concise and truly embodies what your brand means is of vital importance.
Stay Informed of Your Brand Positioning
Your brand’s positioning is your competitive edge; what makes you, you. It’s something that competitors can’t easily latch onto or copy as their own. Remember a few years ago when several fast food restaurants all hopped on the breakfast train at once to try and take away some market share from McDonald’s? Many of them failed spectacularly.
It probably wasn’t that the selection wasn’t good or the food wasn’t tasty. It was that nobody associates tacos with breakfast (unless we’re talking about breakfast burritos and even those have limited appeal). The brand positioning was off, and people just didn’t go for it. This demonstrates that even major corporations can have brand positioning problems, no matter how much their focus groups assure them that they’re on the right track.
So what can you do? First, you can stop stressing that your logo isn’t perfect or that your slogan isn’t catchy enough — those are more marketing tools than stalwart reflections of your brand itself. Sure, they may need a tune-up from time to time, but overall they’re like ingredients in your favorite dish. They lend themselves to it well, and without them it would be incomplete, but they don’t make the meal.
Need help defining your brand values, positioning or personality? Reach out to us at Workdom today and let our senior marketing consultants and branding professionals help you build a brand voice that’s unique, authentic, competitive and memorable.