We are surrounded by company branding on a daily basis. From the breakfast cereal we pull out of the cupboard every morning, to the coffee shop we habitually swing into each day, to billboards, digital ads, Instagram graphics and more…our world is branded.
It’s one thing to be familiar with everyday brands, but it’s a whole other ballgame to build one from scratch. What goes into establishing the brand foundation is often lost in the shuffle of the coffee line and my Soy London Fog order.
Since I’ve started down the coffee chain route, let’s keep going that direction as an example.
There is a chain that sells coffee and they have a logo. However, that is not their brand.
Their brand is the impression I associate with it, or as Seth Godin explains it: “A brand is the set of expectations, memories, stories and relationships that, taken together, account for a consumer’s decision to choose one product or service over another.”
What does this coffee chain mean to me? Coffee dates with my husband. A stopping point on the way to the playground with my son. A meeting place with clients. It’s consistent. It’s refreshing. It’s easy.
How do you get to this point of brand association? Through a strong brand foundation and powerful messages that connect with your tribe.
Capture your brand
Whether you’re the next coffee chain superstar, an independent consultant, a tech start-up, or a mid-sized corporation, it’s time to review your branding and wrap your head around the impression you want people to have about you and your company.
Consider answering the following questions with single-word responses.
- Who are you?
- What do you believe in?
- What makes you different?
After that, let the words guide your vision, mission, core values and key messages that best define you as an organization.
As for the logo? The logo is a graphic. The association people have with your logo? That’s the brand.