7 Steps Towards a Strong Brand Identity

November 06, 2017 by Ashley Poag

You would be surprised to find out how many CMOs struggle to define their brand identity. Most can quickly tell you what colors they use for the logo and what tone their digital marketing material takes on. But, branding is so much more than that. Having a strong brand identity means your customer can easily identify you without a single word being printed. Brand identity should closely include the customer’s experience. We’ve come up with seven steps you can take for a stronger brand identity.

  1. Interview The Customer: Interview your best and worst customer. Take a look at all of your customers and identify the ones you consider idea -- the ones that sing your praises and you couldn’t have enough of. You also want to speak to your customers that maybe you secretly wished had not found you on Google. Or the ones that didn’t quite work out. You may not be able to interview these but it’s important to understand why this relationship isn’t great. This will give you an idea of what your brand isn’t. Now, send a survey or directly speak to your best customers and find out what it is they love about you and why. Get specific. You want to know if you weren’t around who would they use and why and how could you improve their experience with you. Record their experiences in detail. Use this information to identify recurring themes to include in every customer experience.

  2. Develop A Style Guide: A style guide should include colors, fonts and images that convey what you have discovered during your customer interviews. Don’t just pick colors that look nice together. If your customers associate your brand with regalness then your font should be something like script style and your colors should be something that uses a variation of gold or purples that convey that idea.

  3. Co-Brand Where it Makes Sense: Is there a larger more easily recognizable brand that comes to your customer’s mind when they think of you? They shouldn’t necessarily be in the same space but maybe it’s a charity that aligns with your company. For example; say you have a B2B business solutions and supply company.  It may make sense to co-brand with a more well-known printing and mailing company. Just make sure the partnership is mutually beneficial and makes sense to your customer.

  4. Blogging and Social Media Consistency: This goes beyond posting consistency. If your customers don’t expect cat videos on your timeline, then don’t do it for the likes. Make sure you have a content and social media calendar that is consistent with your voice and what your customers expect from you. During the interview phase is a good time to find out what platforms your customers are own and what they are looking for from you. Also, find out how often they check each platform. This will give you an idea of how often to post.

  5. Determine A List of Values: Based on your company’s mission and your customer interviews, come up with a list of 5 core values. No digital marketing collateral should be released unless it meets all five core values. These core values help shape your brand’s story. This story should be told with every customer interaction.

  6. Offer Resources: The more you talk with your customers the more you learn about their needs, questions and pain points. A part of developing a brand is establishing yourself as the go-to leader or voice of authority in your particular space. Many owners and  COO’s want to put out tones of digital marketing content and collateral glorifying their products and services aimed at making a sale. It’s always hard for the CMO or content creator to explain “ Hey guy, no one wants to read that.” Your customers and potential customers are looking for resources to help them make decisions, learn something new or complete a task. By positioning yourself as the provider of that resource you solidify your brand as the voice of authority on that type of product or service.

  7. Respond: This seems like a no-brainer. But think about how many blog comments, reviews or facebook comments you’ve actually responded to in the last year. Speaking back to your customers makes you more human and allows the poster and the reader of those comments to connect more with your brand. Take some time to thank that one customer who always retweets your comments. Don’t make it a one-way conversation. It’s like the guy at the cocktail party who only wants to hold conversations about himself. Don’t shy away from bad reviews. We recommend the book “Hug Your Haters” by Jay Baer to understand how to respond to angry tweets and bad reviews.

This is our short list for building a stronger brand identity. There are many creative ways to take your brand to the next level. Have you tried any of these steps? Let us know how well they worked for you. We’d also like to know if you are struggling with branding basics. BP Studios has worked with multiple organizations to build their brand and have had amazing success. If you are struggling with the basics lets us know. We’d like to write a guide on our blog just to help you.


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