This post embellished from a January 7, 2016 post entitled “Branding Part 1” by Zach Graber, Parisleaf’s Brand Designer.
What makes a great brand? Hint: It’s not your logo, colors or selling techniques.
Branding is an ethereal concept, often confused with brand vehicles like logo, website or inbound marketing solutions. Happily, once you dive in and work through an intelligent process of branding or rebranding, you’ll avoid the confusion and pitfalls most companies encounter, and you’ll apply the following tips like a pro.
In this three-part series, I’ll break down the top three branding myths and launch you on your way to marketplace success. We also have a worksheet that makes easy work of detecting and fixing disconnects in your branding.
Myth #1: Your brand promise is separate from your brand.
Truth: Great branding starts with a promise.
Any time someone chooses to interact with your company, they have a general idea of how you’re going to improve their life through your brand promise.
Your brand promise is the value or experience someone gains from interacting with your brand.
Keep in mind, a brand promise isn’t the same thing as a product. Here’s an example: Toyota and Lexus have the same product; they’re both cars, and they’re even designed by the same exact team and built in the same factories. But they each have different promises that inform their branding and that ultimately define their products and their customers.
Toyota’s brand promise is safety, reliability and product longevity. To that end, Toyota attracts families who want high quality that lasts– a car they can pass on to a teenager ten years from now and be able to continue trusting it. Lexus’ brand promise, as defined in their Brand Guidelines, is “Luxury that helps you make the most of every moment.”
Lexus attracts discerning drivers who expect exceptional performance and whose everyday lives demand the pinnacle of comfort and technology.
A Lexus is certainly built to last, and a Toyota typically comes with the latest technology and comfort for its class. But it’s not the actual product that defines the brand. It’s the promise that’s delivered by that product.
Take a good look at the landscape in which you’re competing, and ask your company these questions:
- What is everyone else promising?
- What sets us apart from our competition? (Tip: This isn’t about your pricing, services or products. It’s about the essential values your prospects and customers gain from interacting with you.) Talk to your customers and find out why they chose you over your competition.
- Are there any gaps we can fill without compromising our values? If you discover a disconnect between what your brand promises and what it actually delivers, how can this be reconciled? Download our free worksheet here to find and seal the gaps.
Start with your promise because the purpose of branding is to tell the right people what you bring to the table. If you don’t know what makes you special, no one else will, either. If you don’t follow through on your brand promise, your prospects won’t follow through with sales.
Next up, we’ll disassemble Branding Myth #2.
Does your brand have what it takes for the long haul?
Find out with our exclusive, free Branding Gaps Discovery Worksheet:
About Kaley Shorter
A creative in her own right, Kaley has tapped years of journalism, CRM management, inbound marketing and customer experience shaping to launch Parisleaf’s blog to international recognition in less than four months. Kaley still makes it home in time for dinner with the family, disc golf and rocking out on stage at the piano.