When developing a company brand strategy, you want to put your best foot forward and ensure that you get it right the first time. But what is the best company brand strategy focused around? In one single sentence, “You want to transfer your enthusiasm from your company to your team members and to your customers.” And how is that best accomplished? In the words of branding expert, David Brier, branding is defined as “The Art of Differentiation.”
Company Brand Strategy: The Basics
1. Getting the CEO involved: The CEO must be personally involved in the company brand strategy, and they must be passionate about and fully forward the purpose and need for effective branding. To ensure branding success, despite the daily and stressful routine of being a CEO, the CEO should be backed by a strong brand management team of competent advisers and marketing experts. These people will be necessary to facilitate a comprehensive and creative brand development, as well as the integration of the new branding strategy.
You either have a company culture centered around its brand or you don’t. Either the whole team rides the company brand strategy train or you never leave the station. This does not require everyone to be a marketer, but it does require their interest and collaboration. And it is the CEO who must nurture and inculcate this brand messaging, otherwise no one will take it seriously.
2. Leverage modern technology: Modern technology should play a large role in a successful company brand strategy. Technology helps to gain effectiveness and improve the competitive edge of the company over those competitors who are lagging behind. Building a team, internally and externally, can facilitate a much more effective integration with strategic partners, suppliers and customers, avoid time consuming paper work and a lack of coordination. A company website and a blog are not only a must for branding purposes, but rather a crucial communication channel for any modern company regardless of size. The more professional the website, the better the perception of your brand among modern consumers and visitors.
Many smart brands now also have an online option to purchase, but the fact is that when a customer is in store, you have a unique opportunity to expose them to new products and to get them engaged with your brand. Technology’s involvement into almost every aspect of our lives and present retailers with new in-store tools and methods to interact with consumers.
Take the mobile phone and social media, for example. People literally walk around with their smartphones in their hand. Many of them have social media accounts. It’s an opportunity to create location-based marketing solutions, sharing branded content and bringing mobile advertising in-store where it matters most.
3. Encourage the development of brand ambassadors: The most important asset for any company is its people, employees and consumers alike. But they also interact with an impressive number of people totally disconnected to the company in form of family members, friends, former colleagues and contacts though social media channels. Hence they serve as the company’s most important brand ambassadors, as the word-of-mouth can be extremely valuable and have great impact on the overall image of the company’s brand and image. The most effective way to turn employees into brand ambassadors is to train everyone adequately in the corporate brand strategy (vision, values, ethos and messaging, etc.) and making sure they fully comprehend what exactly the company aims at being in the minds of its customers. Apple is a brand which is known for their efforts into educating and empowering everyone employed by the company to be strong brand ambassadors.
4. Engage and promote: Bring the company brand to life through a range of well-planned, well-executed marketing activities, and make sure the overall messages are consistent, clear and relevant to your target audiences. Make sure the various messages are concise and easy to comprehend. Do not try to communicate every single point from the company branding strategy. Instead, a selective approach will make much more impact using the same resources. And a word about your brand’s transparency. Thanks to technology, nearly everything you do as an enterprise or brand can be observed and published to the world at large. It is important that is a brand is proactive in their messaging and utilizing all communication channels actively and in a strategic manner.
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