Tag Archives: brand building

Why a coherent brand message is so important

image(17)Too many people overvalue what they are not and undervalue what they are.” – Malcolm Forbes

Building a brand identity today is a strategic part of developing a business; it’s the defining
difference between having something people can relate to, and just having a standing product or service.

When it comes to branding initiatives, the early stages are the most critical – the stages where developing a story and persona that your audience can attach to the product or service will set the stage for what happens next.

The problem companies find themselves in is not clearly defining these objectives before they get to market. Many times over, products, services, or businesses will make their break in the market and fail because of a lack of coherent messaging. More often than not, the lack of clearly defined objectives is exhibited across all communication channels. Inconsistent tonality, different visual assets and varying language will lead to confused consumers – ultimately, causing a break in the chain from market to consumer.

Whether it’s the company website, social media, or promotional material that’s being
disseminated to the public, all messaging needs to sound consistent. For a product or service
to sell itself, it has to sell an idea to the consumer, but capitalize this across their
communication channels. In other words, the messaging and brand identity should sound the same on your website and Facebook, as it does on Twitter and Instagram.

Although each platform sends out communication in a different manner, what makes these
vital to growing an audience is the specific way it interacts with those audience members. If you call your brand fun, engaging and emotionally driven, but don’t respond to customer inquiries or interact with them on Twitter, your brand isn’t holding true to its values. Platforms that look inconsistent, or do not communicate certain values to the public, will not amplify the brand identity.

In the initial stages of development, a critical component of building a brand is to seek the
advice of communication professionals who can help develop core messages to accompany the launch. These messages can be used to build your platforms, and can ensure that all individuals working on the account understand exactly what the company stands for and where it will progress in the market.

Thoughts on how to build a coherent brand message? Tweet me @Sam__Dickson

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New Year, New You: Keeping your brand alive

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Whether you are your own brand, or you have a constructed a brand separate from your
identity, it always seem that as you grow your brand grows with you. Enter the “new year, new you” mantra. Although it is important to keep parts of your brand consistent, it never hurts to hit refresh and improve areas of your brand in order to stay ahead. Keeping up with trends, whether it’s technology or industry related changes, also means shifting your brand to reflect those changes.

With a new year ahead, it’s a great time to start benchmarking goals for 2014 and planning out strategies for where you want to take your brand. If you’re looking to gain more awareness for your blog, perhaps you can start brainstorming new topic ideas. This might also mean taking a look at what generates the most amount of traffic to your website. The great part of a new year is being able to reflect upon what has worked in the past and what hasn’t.

Another way to keep your brand alive may be to consider ways to incorporate new elements into your brand. Using a blogging brand as an example, if you mainly focus on reviewing makeup and beauty products, consider other topics you enjoy that you could include as a new segment. If you enjoy staying active, create a segment on looking and feeling your best. A good reminder is to keep content fresh and exciting to encourage your readers to come back for more. This advice also applies towards product brands. In order to keep you customers returning, as well as capture new ones, you have to reinvent the face of your product sometimes to foster new appeal. Revitalizing an old product or brand gives it a new look, but still maintains the essence of what it’s trying to offer.

My “new year, new you” mantra serves to remind yourself of the possibilities, and encourage you to make changes even if they aren’t needed. Sometimes getting wrapped up in the idea “if it’s working, don’t fix it” is only preventing us from making something better. Instead of being afraid of change, embrace the potential it holds for your brand. It might be risky, but it might also be worth it!

What are some of your 2014 goals?

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Social Media: More than just a résumé skill

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“Social media spark a revelation that we, the people, have a voice, and through the
democratization of content and ideas we can once again unite around common passions,
inspire movements, and ignite change.”Brian Solis, Author of Engage: The Complete Guide for Brands and Businesses to Build, Cultivate, and Measure Success in the New Web

Anyone who knows me, whether you’re a follower of my blog, twitter account, or a close friend, will tell you that I am a huge advocate of social media. This is for several reasons. I’m not just
referring to my general love for tweeting, or pinning my latest quote. This love for an online
community goes far beyond just the use of the platform.

Without any knowledge or background on how social media can assist in building your brand, or increase engagement with your followers, it seems unfair to deem social media as something that millennials just like to play on. Social media has the incredible power to build the
reputation of a brand, and connect audiences on a larger scale. If not carefully used, there
is also the looming threat of destroying a brand quicker than you can say tweet.

So when someone says they’re a social media maven, or a social media strategist, what do they really mean? Since social media extends far beyond just proficiency of the platform, it means this so-called expert can translate social media efforts into a return on investment (ROI).
In order for this to happen, the social media strategist has to be able to connect these efforts to higher level goals and business objectives – see Deirdre Breakenridge’s Social Media and Public Relations: Eight New Practices for the PR Professional. This is a great resource for any
PR professional, whether aspiring or experienced, seeking to develop their social
media skills and understand how to effectively manage a brand on various platforms.

One reason I’m so passionate about digital PR is because it gives an audience the ability to
communicate and connect with a brand that goes beyond the purchasing power. A company that can effectively manage a two-way conversation between their audience
and the brand puts a human connection behind their products or services. This enables
audience members to become brand ambassadors on social platforms.

It’s important to understand that including social media specialist under the skills section of your résumé extends far past your recreational use of Facebook. In order to
effectively use sites like Twitter, Facebook, WordPress or Instagram, you need to have
an understanding of the metrics and analytics behind the platform. This means being able to provide the C-Suite with visible changes in brand sentiment, share of voice, or even website traffic.

An efficient use of these social media tools will show some form of profit growth, contributing to the company’s bottom-line. Any social media strategist that can use these tools to provide growth in a company is a valuable resource. These skills will continue to be an asset as new
platforms continue to develop. It’s a social media strategist’s job to stay up-to-date on the latest technology to ensure they’re optimizing the use of platforms for their respective companies.

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