Brand Matters
Brand Matters


Building your brand on a budget
Building your brand on a budget

Times are tough and resources are tight, but that doesn't mean you should put off advancing your brand while you wait out the recession. Quite the opposite. To help ensure survival--and set the stage for growth--you need to take an active role in keeping your brand healthy. Those that do will be best positioned for success when the clouds part. Here are several things you can do on your own, and on a dime:

Stay connected to those who matter.

Look inward and outward. Inward to staff to understand their understanding of your brand and how they express it. Outward to customers and prospects. Invite them to tea and use the conversations to learn why key constituents stay connected. What do they value? How do they want to be communicated with? Asking for input is a great way to move people closer to your organization--and to learn where to focus your money and attention.

Get your message(s) straight.

Your brand is much more than your logo; it needs to be the carrier of the meaning and value that compels people to connect with you--to participate in your programs and services. Do your communications--formal and informal, print and digital--project what your constituents care about? From what you learned over tea, hone your key messages and consistently promulgate them--paired with your logo.

Make every communication count.

Pull together all your outbound communication materials and spread them out on a table. Is there a meaningful whole? Or is your image diffuse? If you look like many different organizations, identify those pieces that work well and best project the meaning and value you want to be known for. Based on these, identify approaches to color, type, imagery, language, and overall structure that reinforce this brand meaning--and evolve a system that can inform all communications. Creating communications based on a shared system will build awareness of your enterprise more quickly, and for less money.

Engage your organization.

Branding is a team sport--and everyone in your organization communicates--formally or informally. Set up workshops so that all can become fluent in your main messages and your value to different constituents. When your brochure, Web site, and that conversation across an airplane aisle all align, you'll build awareness, comprehension, trust--and a stronger, recognizable brand.

And, of course, should you need help building your brand--or carving potatoes, let us know.

news and articles

Strong brand is essential A strong brand is essential to success--and possibly survival
The Voice of Chorus America
by Brandon Walsh and Roger Sametz

In difficult economic times, a strong brand is no longer a luxury, or "nice-to-have" for cultural organizations--it's a necessity.
Read the full article

emerging markets Emerging in an emerging market
Mass High Tech
by Eric Norman
and Roger Sametz
Creating context, connection, and meaning for your innovation can help new technologies, their applications (and their inventors) to be more successful than they might otherwise be. Great ideas don't just sell themselves.
Read the full article
Roger Sametz Brand-new day
Boston Business Journal
by Mary Moore

For the Journal's "Outside the Box" feature, reporter Mary Moore spoke with Roger Sametz about his philosophy and work and why it's more important than ever to actively manage the brand of your organization.
Read the full article
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In our next issue: Your Web site is not a digital strategy.
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