How to Build a Powerful Brand
The fundamental problem of all brands is how to design, build and maintain a strong presence with appropriate audiences. While a strong brand is often represented by a slick logo, great website, and snazzy business cards, it goes much deeper than that. A truly effective brand elicits trust and evokes emotion that leads to loyalty and a deep personal connection that extends beyond its logical attributes. It also enhances your messaging and provides a manner, tone, and style that is recognizable and consistent throughout time.
Your brand should be thought of as an experience. Take Starbucks for example. Starbucks continues to thrive despite the growth of the U.S. coffeehouse and donut shop industry, and is expected to reach $33.1 billion in sales in 2017. “Starbucks stands for coffee; it’s converted that into an experience,” says Priya Raghubir, a research professor of marketing at New York University’s Stern School of Business. “The enduring brand loyalty is about the core offerings, which is not just coffee…it is the experience of going to Starbucks.”
According to Forrester Research, “As business buyers gain control over their purchase process with easy access to product specs, peer reviews, and competitive intelligence, business-to-business (B2B) organizations must depend on a strong brand to gain a coveted place in buyers’ consideration set.”
However, many brands tend to emerge without much planning and evolve without reflection – a collection of deliverables without consistency, cohesion or sustainable focus. This will confuse your audience!
A deliberate and visionary Communications Plan is a critical component in establishing a strong brand. When implemented, it will deliver a powerful message and establish lasting perceptions with your audience.
Communications Plan Objectives:
• Establish and reinforce your goal(s) with every communications vehicle.
• Create a consistent style, look, and message for all communications.
• Provide communications guidance to your organization for the internal and external execution of your plan in print and electronic media.
Communications Plan Procedures:
1. Develop a Positioning Strategy that will serve as the basis for your desired image.
The task of the positioning strategy is to establish an initiative that is credible, relevant, unique, and durable. The philosophy and mission should be clearly articulated and reflected in your organization’s culture. Everything your organization says, makes, and does should reflect this stance.
2. Develop a Communications Platform that will provide a foundation for the consistent expression of the initiative in language and design.
Your positioning strategy will be realized through a communications platform; an information architecture of verbal and visual elements that will be used to help express your initiative. The platform will allow you to speak to your audience in all communications with one clear and consistent voice – one that enhances your brand’s overall image and expresses its unique capabilities, qualities and strengths.
3. Develop a Communications Campaign that will effectively introduce, launch, build, and sustain your brand.
Consumers are confronted with various forms of communications competing for their attention each day. Introducing your brand into this crowded marketplace requires a unique approach that elevates it above the clutter. Doing this requires a consistent, highly visible, and sustained campaign of promotion and information. Sustaining and cultivating your brand demands an ongoing development and demonstration of new methodologies to engage and interest your audience.
Having a strong brand is essential – as important as an effective infrastructure, ample resources, and dedicated employees. And the first step in establishing a strong brand is developing a Communications Plan that will allow you to carry out your vision.