Five Ways to Improve your Brand

Useful tips you can work on to help you refine and recalibrate the brand you currently already have. Save the rebrand for next week!

By Rog HowPosted in Ideas

You might not be ready for a complete rebrand yet, so here are a few simple things that you can do, right here - right now - that can help you refine and recalibrate what you already have.

1 - Talk to your Customers
Your customers are the lifeblood of your business, so if you don’t know who they are - and how they think - you are missing a very big trick. 

You can send surveys and questionnaires, but for branding we recommend also conducting qualitative research: in depth face-to-face or phone interviews. To really get to know your customers on a more personal level. Branding is about making a connection and you can’t do that without understanding your customers and their personality first.

For branding purposes it helps to know what values your customers are looking for. Is price the driving factor, or are they more concerned about the quality of your product? But the most valuable thing you have to find out is what their emotional need is when choosing to buy. Are they frustrated, excited, seeking change or control? If you can understand a customers' emotional driver, you can then work out what character your company should have in order to meet that need.

2 - Make a Plan
Putting your brand down on paper is a really useful exercise. Try to build a complete picture by answering these questions: 

  • Can you define your company in one sentence?
  • What makes it different?
  • What are your brand values?
  • Where does it live in the marketplace?
  • Who are your customers?
  • How will you talk to them?

3 - Define your Brand Character
Defining your brand character can be tricky, but if you’ve followed Tip One then that will make it a lot easier. Try to imagine that your brand is replaced by a single person. Who would that person be? What would they be like? What temperament or character would they have? Sometimes it can help to find the closest real person, or character from a book or film. Once you have that, it’s much easier to image what they should look like, how they speak and how they act. That person is your brand!

4 - Make a Brand System Sheet or Asset Pack
Putting all your visual brand assets down onto a single page is a good way to maintain brand consistency. Place your logo, brand colours, buttons, line styles, fonts and any other defining features of the brand together and see if they are working in harmony. If they don't, then you need to ask yourself why - and what is not working.

A Brand System is a fundamental visual reference, which should guide all your design work. Brand consistency is key to building brand recognition and trust with your customers - so this should be a sacred piece of marketing and design kit for you. For more on this read about Brand System here.

5 - Consider every Touchpoint
... and by every touchpoint, I really do mean all of them! Any contact a customer has with your company is considered a touchpoint. Staff interaction, your website, outside advertising, even a phone queue system. 

If you can make every single one a potential for brand reenforcement, then do it! When you write a blog post, have your brand voice in mind. When you train staff, make sure they know who they are representing and how they should act accordingly.

Each time a person interacts with your brand, they are building a more complete picture of who that brand is, and all the while forming an opinion of it. Whether this is consciously or subconsciously. Just as we do with people. If a colleague was rude to you, just once, you might hold that in your thoughts for while and have a different overall picture of that person. Which is compounded if they do it again. Even if they were just having a couple of bad days!

If you take these five tips and even partly implement them, then you’ll be on your way to improving your brand image and recognition. But if you only manage one, please make that Tip One! It’s by far the most important, not just for brand, but for your whole business strategy.

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