Cart before the Horse

Building a brand and managing it correctly isn’t always as easy as it sounds.

The way it should be
When you build a brand correctly, every facet of it’s existence should have been thought through very carefully. It should be solid, but flexible. It should convey strength, but create an emotional connection. You’re audience (a.k.a. customers) should understand what you do and how you do it. More importantly, they should respond to your brand in a positive manner.

From beginning to end, your brand should do all of these things and do them consistently. Consistency. Is. The. Key. If your brand says one thing on your website, your employees should be saying the same thing when speaking with customers, your emails should have the same signature line, your company trucks should have the same branding, et cetera, et cetera.  And because everything related to your business is an extension of your brand, it should always be a priority.

Most professionals understand this, or at the very least, know the basics of brand consistency. So since we’re not saying anything you probably haven’t hear before, let’s move on to the reality of branding for most businesses.

The way it usually happens
Stop me if this starts to sound familiar. You just started building a website and realize that not one single marketing piece you’ve put out has the same message. As a matter of fact, everything looks different, has a different version of your logo, has a different feel and has a different call-to-action. If you ask fellow employees or colleagues what you’re company does or specializes in, they all tell you something different. Believe it or not, this is very common.

The reality is, most businesses start small. Not too many companies open their doors and immediately hire a thousand employees and become a corporate giant overnight. And so it usually happens that companies don’t put that much emphasis on branding, at least initially. Most businesses are just trying to make ends meet… getting by if you will. And that’s how brand inconsistencies start and travel through the ranks. Many times, this can create communication gaps so big that no one in your company conveys the same message, or anything remotely close to the right one.

The inevitable solution
It’s never too late to re-evaluate your brand. Usually, it comes down to a new marketing initiative before anyone makes branding a priority. And that’s okay. We deal with it all the time and see a multitude of reasons why clients get in a pinch and need to step back and assess their situation. But keep this in mind… don’t put the cart before the horse. If you are starting a new initiative, consider it carefully. Many times, the excitement and rush to get something out the door can overshadow the real issues that need to be addressed before moving forward.

By solidifying your brand identity and developing greater brand consistency, you will make future marketing initiatives more valuable and more effective.