What’s in a brand?
A logo, a color palette, some type, and a name?
These choices are important in shaping your brand’s image, but they don’t define who you are. Brand is an identity. It’s a story about your culture, values and what you stand for in the world.
A brand is a promise and every successful brand has a memorable promise. We know Nike for its relentless reminder to Just Do It. Apple has been the hallmark for thinking differently in a world where ‘smart’ tech hadn’t met elegant design. Crack open a can of Coca-Cola and you know you’re opening happiness.
Each of these brands are instantly identifiable. We know the logos but what sticks is the promise.
So, how do you bring your promise to life? Start with why.
Why is this important?
Why do I care?
Why will others care?
Then, What and How?
What‘s my story?
How do I draw people in?
Once you have the answers, these steps will help you propel your brand story further:
1. Define your mission. Live and breathe your mission.
Your mission statement tells everyone what you’re about. A company with a clear purpose is 78% more likely to sell product. Consumers want to do the right thing and your brand isn’t purely business.
2. Define your values
People don’t invest in products, they invest in other people. Patagonia’s success is their investment in a more sustainable future. Lyft’s success is in its’ visible commitment to community and social impact.
A Forbes article cited that “…just talking about your own values isn’t enough, consumers want you to help them live theirs.” Connecting with people using your values is a not only a powerful way not only to draw them in, but to keep them coming back.
3. Create Unique Experiences
Once you’ve captured an audience, create memorable experiences to keep them engaged. We live in a highly saturated media environment, and it takes a little special sauce to break through the noise.
Social media stories, gamification, pop-up experiences and influencer partnerships are some great ways to help boost your brand exposure.
The Museum of Ice Cream is a brand that lives and breathes pop-ups from ice cream trucks to sprinkle pools. Depending on the size of your brand, and your budget, creating a unique experience is a way to connect people to your brand in a tangible way.
4. Stay true to who you are
The final (and most important) principle in building a strong brand promise is staying true to who you are. We hear the word ‘authenticity’ thrown around quite a bit these days. When you’re authentic to who you are, you’re likely to capture more hearts and minds.
“ A brand is the set of expectations, memories, stories and relationships that, taken together, account for a consumer’s decision to choose one product or service over another.”
-Seth Godin, Author of This is Marketing