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BRAND: why it matters and how to create impact

Your brand is your promise to customers – what you stand for, your vision and values. It matters. Let us explain why. 

 

Telling Your Story

Most people have a favourite brand they love. Companies they frequently return to and recommend to their friends and family.  They become brand advocates because those businesses not only deliver consistent quality and service but also create an emotional connection. To achieve that magic, any business must be clear on what their brand is and, more importantly, how their staff represent it and bring it to life.

 

 

Your Promise

Put simply, your brand is your promise to customers – they need to believe in that as it sums up what you stand for, your vision and your values.  It can also be what differentiates you from the competition in a crowded marketplace.  Marketing and communications form part of that how you tell the story; your logo, website, advertising, social media and so on, but it must go much deeper than that if it’s to be effective. 
 
It’s having your people understand and embrace your brand values from within is what really counts. You get that wrong at your peril; because when the expectation of what doing business with you is like collides with a reality that does not match up to the promise, problems will arise. 
 
 

Valuing Your Values

Your values must be more than buzzwords on a poster. They need to be accepted and embraced by everyone within your business. Before you start promoting them outside your four walls, letting customers and suppliers put them to the test should be a part of your company's DNA. Those at the coal face need to understand how your values apply to what they do.  Often companies engage in creating this public persona but fail to take the step of communicating to their people what that actually means to them.  Whilst some are more self-evident that others, most people would grasp the idea of teamwork, some are a little more difficult to quantify. After all, if you work in a support service, like Finance or IT, then what does something like ‘Vision’ mean to what you do? It’s bringing those values to life and showing what ‘good’ looks like to each person and their role that helps tell 
that story. 
 
When this vital step is missed, departments, teams and individuals in your company can end up going in different directions, acting in a way that doesn’t match what’s advertised on the label. That means your customers end up with mixed messages, and your brand story becomes nothing more than window dressing. It fails to connect; in other words, it doesn’t do what it says on the tin! Aligning your brand strategy means ensuring everyone fully embraces your unique story and understands your company purpose, the all-important “why we do what we do”. 
 
 
 

Connecting With Your Audience

Live events can be an important part of that communication.  Creating experiences that engage and excite your audience, ensuring every touch point reflects your brand and your values. From the more practical elements like venue selection - choose one that suits your persona; contemporary or classic, minimalist or opulent, quirky or traditional. This has to carry through to how your content is developed and communicated; does it fit with your tone of voice, and does it support your story? It should all authentically reflect who you are to create that emotional connection live events are so good at delivering. There are a few basic tips to consider when developing content that resonates with your audience and reflects your brand: 
 
  • Know your audience – define the different personas you are communicating with and ensure you cater to their needs. 
  • Keep it consistent – regardless of subject, delivery or media – it should be authentically you in your tone of voice. 
  • Make it personal – share real stories, and use real experiences people can empathise with and connect with. That will help drive home your messaging. 
 
A genuine brand is built by aligning the beliefs and actions of your whole business. Effective brand storytelling is how you add personality; it will make you relatable and paint pictures that help you connect with your audience. 

 

Sandra Collins

Written by Sandra Collins

Director of Strategic Communications, BCD Meetings & Events

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