A lot of marketing experts (self-proclaimed) would have you believe that a logo and corporate identity package is all there is to a brand. I know some businesses which want to change their logo regularly in hopes that it will somehow magically improve their brand and their business. Woe are they.
Smart marketers, however, know that the brand is the sum total of what people think about your organization, and that it is expressed in every contact customers have with you.
Marketing folk often are guilty of trying to make branding look more complex than it is. We come up with all sorts of branding terms: 3D branding, branding triad, brand harmonisation. Go here to see some definitions.
Branding is not complex but it is hard. It requires you to listen to customers and understand what they want from you. Discover what customers think of your brand. If they like your brand, keep delivering the experience consistently. If they don’t like it, fix it. Consistently communicate your brand message. Constantly monitor all of the above. Repeat.
Sometimes you must make a tough decision in order to protect the brand.
Consider Starbucks. It has a simple brand statement: A great coffee experience. It influences everything the company does from its logo, store design and employee selection, and even choice of toilet paper. I’m not making this up.
The story goes that some green-eyeshade-consultant found a way to shave costs significantly by changing over to one-ply TP. Starbucks’ marketers held firm for the two-ply because they knew that something as simple as cheap toilet paper can ruin the goodwill a brand has built.
Now one-ply may not degrade your brand equity, or Wal-Mart’s for that matter. But if Starbuck’s is keeping an eye on the toilet, shouldn’t you be ensuring your most basic “touchpoints” aren’t circling the drain?