As I present our Brand Communication process the first hurdle is often overcoming the notion that brand=logo.
Seth Godin defines brand: A set of expectations, memories, stories and relationships that, taken together, account for a consumer’s decision to choose one product or service over another. If the consumer (whether it’s a business, a buyer, a voter or a donor) doesn’t pay a premium, make a selection or spread the word, then no brand value exists for that consumer.
Your brand is much more than your logo.
Everything we do in our brand communication cycle is based on our drive to increase your brand value. Brand value can be measured in different ways for different organizations. For a business selling goods, brand value measures the willingness of the audience to pay a premium. For an organization selling services, brand value measures the preference of their service over that of another provider. For a non-profit or academic organization with a mission of education, brand value measures the willingness of your audience to absorb and engage with your message and spread the word.
One of the first things we identify when we start a new relationship is how to measure the success of our communication efforts. The definition of our success and the definition of brand value for an organization are closely intertwined– they’re both informed by your organization’s mission, communication goals, and target audience, among other factors. What are the criteria that determine the client’s current brand value? What is the brand’s aspiration? How can we move from that current state towards that aspirational state?
One of the first things we identify when we start working on a new brand piece is how it can contribute to that success: How can this [style guide, website, Facebook post, poster, interaction, tweet, app…] impact the overall brand value in a positive way? How can it move us one step closer to that aspirational brand that we’ve defined in our initial goals?
Once the [style guide, website, Facebook post, poster, interaction, tweet, app…] has been released into the wild, we identify its real impact: How is this piece actually impacting the overall brand value? How can this information inform our next effort?
Though our efforts often are focused in the tiniest details of our projects, our team always takes a step back and reconsiders the bigger picture of the brand we’re working with. Whether you’re managing a brand for a local business, a non-profit, a corporation, or yourself (though we know Bryan’s thoughts on personal brand…), take a step back and consider all the pieces. The whole is greater than the sum of its parts.