taking branding beyond your logo

Taking Branding Beyond Your Logo

In Leadership Resources by Brandt A. Handley

Before your Middle Market firm became an entity, a brand or the theory of a brand was formed. To many people ‘brand’ is synonymous with a logo or marketing efforts. And, in the beginning of most organizations, that might be about all its brand entails.

As an organization grows and expands it usually becomes more visible to the public and its customers. In the process of becoming a “household” name, all manner of things become attributed to your brand.

What Your Brand Covers

* What your organization values and its principles
* Your reputation with employees, customers, vendors, partners and competitors
*How you interact with and treat your customers
*What consumers and the market think of your products
*How your company performs against competition
*Your marketing
*How and where you choose to communicate

So, your brand moves from a name and logo it to encompass every part of who you are and what you stand for.

Therefore, it’s vital to consider the implications. You need a well-rounded branding strategy to ensure your Middle Market firm has the reputation and recognition desired. Thus, as you strive for market share and recognition, remember to take a holistic approach to branding.

Often Overlooked Areas

Hiring and retaining the best and brightest employees is key to the success of any organization. But, few companies focus on demonstrating their branding through the recruiting, hiring and retention processes. It’s key to have a well planned and demonstrated employer brand tying directly into your overall company branding strategy.

Before you hire, your Middle Market firm should focus on what kind of employer it wants to be. What will the vibe of your organization be? How will the structure shift as you grow? What are your key principles, etc. And, when you do hire, you must demonstrate your brand throughout the process. In addition, impress upon your teams what you want to be known for, what you want your company name to evoke.

Your physical location and space also should align with your overall brand vision. If you are a technology firm known for your innovative products, your buildings, offices, and furnishings need to demonstrate that if you want it to feel authentic. Thus, your employees should connect with your branding strategy within your space – in an unconscious manner. Therefore, your offices should feel like they align with your brand and the behavior you want to inspire.

Carrying It Through Your Products

Whatever your Middle Market company set out to provide, there had to have been a vision for what your product or services would look like and how they would perform. That is part of your branding strategy, certainly. Beyond the big picture are all the little ways your brand can be demonstrated.

The type of packaging you use, what you include with your products, your training, and educational materials all can support your brand. If your core values support philanthropic or charitable causes, you might use packaging space to inform and motivate your customers. Or, if providing a high level of education and training materials is important, you want to make sure those areas are thought of with each product you ship.

Some companies put special coupons or gift cards with a note of gratitude in random packages and some demonstrate safety and consistency by using inspector stickers and numbers. So, consider the feeling you want customers to have when they receive your product and ensure you evoke that feeling by focusing on your branding strategy. Effectively demonstrating your brand through your products and packaging can be a powerful tool with even the smallest daily effort.

Improving Your Branding

Before you can start making improvements, you’ll need to take stock. Ask your employees how well they understand your brand. Look for ways your brand strategy is demonstrated at each level of your organization. Ask your vendors, customers, and partners what your brand means to them. Depending on your situation, you may want to conduct surveys on your customers or have an outside consultant do a complete brand review.

Next, look for innovative ways to spread your brand strategy. Aside from your marketing and sales teams, where else in your business should your branding be more active and prevalent? What can you do to align each avenue of your organization more closely with your overall brand? How can you spread brand awareness?

As with anything, compiling information and creating a comprehensive plan to shore up your branding is important. Creating a team comprised of different areas of your Middle Market firm may be a way to get every teams’ buy-in.

Evaluating and focusing on your branding strategy is necessary to ensure you share a consistent message with your employees, customers, and partners.

So what’s in the Mighty Middle Market for me? — get it right now at www.Go4ROI.com.