Okay, this picture is only meant to be a bit of fun, but I thought it might be useful to put down my top five "branding don'ts" to help those who are about to embark on a (re)branding journey. Although this may sound like a negative point from which to start, it is actually my intention to outline a number of key things to bear in mind whilst undertaking such an exercise. These should prove most beneficial in the long run.
1. Don’t think of a brand as just a logo
Your brand encompasses everything from the way you answer the phone, to the quality of your offering, the tone of your communications, through to your customer’s perception of you in the marketplace. It’s a big thing. It’s all about personality. Get it right and everyone wants to be your friend – think Apple!
2. Don’t get bullied by ‘branding consultants’
On too many occasions I’ve met clients who have been left feeling battered and bruised by ‘experts’ who have tried to railroad them into brand solutions that:
• they don’t think appropriate
• are expensive to implement
• they just don’t like
You are the client. You know your sector and your market. You know your strengths and you know what your business is capable of achieving. You should play a key role in the branding process. If you’re feeling marginalised or under-informed by your chosen branding agency then they aren’t doing it properly.
3. Don’t underestimate the brand equity you already have
Last year the clothing chain GAP famously did just that. This high profile and well reported case neatly demonstrated the damage that can be done by undertaking unnecessary branding exercises. Some times a small evolution or simple adjustment is all that is needed to rejuvenate a brand and make it more relevant.
4. Don’t forget the basics
You may spend hours carefully writing text for your marketing materials and making sure the new website interface is intuitive and easy to use, but do you spend as much time checking that your invoices and contracts are written in a style that match your brand values? Do your customers languish for hours on hold? The devil, they say, is in the detail – your brand is as strong as its weakest part.
5. Don’t think that the branding process stops with the unveiling of the new logo.
Everyone within the organisation will need to be on board and adjustments and changes will almost certainly have to be made, so keep your branding team together to see through the implementation process.
And finally, I’d like to end on a positive…
Do enjoy the branding process...
When done properly it is an exciting, engaging, and ultimately rewarding experience.