What was once (long ago) just a nugget of an idea has been developed, implemented, tweaked, twisted and re-defined over the years. Can you state what your brand is right now? Do you think it is your logo? What is the “unique & enduring” proposition that keeps business coming your way?
Or, maybe customers are not beating a path to your door.
Before you strut out a logo, before you pick your colors and type fonts, the best brands are based first on the values and strengths of what exists inside an organization. So hopefully the internal staff, or a representation of it, gets considered in your overall brand assessment. Are they excited and engaged with your brand? Does everyone understand their role in communicating it.
When properly planned and executed, the result of all that hard work is a complete identity that will embody all the values of your product or service. What are the values that make you outstanding?
Now, as your marketing and advertising and promotional efforts over the years have unfolded, can you say your efforts have worked as hard as they should for you? Can you say there is any consistency in your marketing visibility? Or, in your message?
Zeroing in a strong singular message and a consistent style that engages your target audience will build familiarity and trust and clarity in your marketplaces as to what your brand stands for —and ultimately make your brand promotion efforts easier to execute and more rewarding.
Before you unleash any (newly created ) brand direction into the consumer world, there’s one more important step you need to take to ensure its success: you need to provide it with proper brand guidelines to steer it in the right direction. This will help keep everyone on track as a guideline and make any internal efforts easier to execute.
What are brand guidelines? Ah…brand guidelines! Sometimes, creating a brand is much easier than educating and enforcing the do‘s and don’ts to drive consistency. Brand guidelines are a detailed outline of a brand’s essence, explaining everything from brand positioning to visual identity. This takes form as a document that will act as a reference tool of standards. In other words, they’re an “owner’s manual” for your brand. The standards given in brand guidelines provide direction in times of potential branding mishaps – say, for instance, an inappropriate use of a logo, which would result in inaccurate brand representation.
Basically, it all boils down to consistency. The role of brand guidelines is to keep a brand consistent within its identity, and a consistent identity aids strength of brand. As mentioned, only half the challenge lies in creating the brand. The real challenge is in policing the brand implementation. In other words, don’t mess with the consistency!
My philosophy is to partner with a core team or leader in your organization that may be regarded as your “brand steward.” This can protect your branded the whims of too may people internally getting their hands on things.
Often, internal brand plans for companies can be as important as the external marketing program. It is critical to ensure everyone working with the brand understands its identity, values, culture and how it communicates to its market. But there’s lots of ways to engage the troops through training, workshops, events, promotions, etc., to help them understand all the various touchpoints with audiences and what they can do in their own roles.
Feedback from our clients present a true measure of our performance and our success together.
“From the outset, StimulusBrand thought enough to ask us about our business, our goals, what was working and what was no longer working. Understanding our target audiences and how to reach them made the difference. The quality of their work is exceptional. That was a ticket to play. And they continue to deliver.”
Kristine Miechowicki, VP Marketing Prudential Mortgage Capital Company
“StimulusBrand opened their book and we immediately liked 35 to 40 of the identity marks they developed. This was a branding company and they “got us.” we were all thrilled with our results, including the brand consistency in designing our website, service marketing collateral, trade show booth, and even our mobile app, which was launched on the Apple Store.
Ken Walsh , President & CEO Talksoft Corporation
“We hired StimulusBrand to re-invent our brand. Tom and his team brought a new energy and vitality to St. Francis beginning with a new logo and identity and rolling out a broad and consistent advertising campaign featuring print media, outdoor, direct mail and more. His team set the tone from the beginning winning buy-in from everyone on our Board to key practice groups. Top-notch!”
Jerry Jablonowski , President & CEO St. Francis Medical Center
Today, with the internet, social media, broadcast advertising and more all competing for your customers’ attention, it takes a lot to get your business noticed. If you’re going to stand out in the crowd, the right marketing strategy isn’t just smart – it’s crucial.
At StimulusBrand Communications, owner Tom McManimon and his team understand that the growth of your business depends on understanding your unique brand and projecting it well. They have many years of experience establishing the identities of organizations of every size – and they put that experience to work for clients every day.
“Our company is an independently owned strategic brand marketing and advertising firm,” said McManimon of his Ewing-based firm. “We work with small, medium-size and large companies. For small independent companies, we help launch sound marketing direction, identity and sales tools, websites, advertising and more.”
Learn how StimulusBrand Communications can help your business, visit www.stimulusbrand.com or call (609) 538-1126.
Tom McManimon, President