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 brandor carving potatoes, let us know.