The Trail to Branding Your Company
When we talk about branding, rebranding or positioning a company for success, all we are really talking about is determining and solidifying a company promise. The promise is what speaks to the customer above and beyond the product or service. The customer wants to feel a connection to your company. Often people confuse a company’s brand with the logo or color scheme. In reality, a brand is anything and everything that the customer sees, touches, feels, smells or experiences with you. Both materials and personality define a brand. From products and/or services right down to the logo and phone greeting – these all share pieces of your brand story.
There is a set of mountains near my home called the Superstitions. These mountains were used for years by the indigenous people and other early settlers of Arizona to explore and discover. The landscape is such that it is very easy for many to become lost and confused with their surroundings. The landscape is desert, with rock and scrub plants and lots of cactus. The area is rough and difficult to traverse with few recognizable landmarks. Early explorers began to use small stacks of rocks, called cairns to show the way to those who knew to look for them. They would be placed every so many feet so a traveler could actually get to one cairn and see the next, helping to navigate the terrain. Without these markers it was extremely easy to get lost.
A few years back, I was hiking in the Superstition Mountains near an area called Geronimos Cave. I was hiking with a group of Boy Scouts and as is custom, we let the boys lead the way. Fairly quickly, we found ourselves repeating sections of the hike that we found very familiar. We were going in circles. We asked the boys what they were using to help them navigate, and they said, “we are following the trail” to which we asked, “what trail?” We were aware of the mistake, but we allowed it to continue on to help the boys learn to look for the markers or signs.
How is this relevant to branding?
Well, Rain Visual Strategy + Design always considers the goals and objectives of the client as we begin to develop a brand strategy. This assures we deliver the correct promise. We also diligently evaluate what the customer wants and align the client’s product with the customer’s desire in order to both deliver on the promise and retain customer loyalty.
An important area of developing a successful brand strategy must also consider the steps along the way, as often a brand is not ready to jump from A to Z. Like the cairns or markers that can be followed in the Superstition Mountains, a good brand strategy will place markers for customers to follow. These markers allow a company to grow one step at time and continually communicate their brand promise.
This type of strategy requires a commitment from the customer to be disciplined in the marketing efforts in order to be proactive and thoughtful. Oftentimes, companies are too close to their products and services to see the real benefits and weaknesses. They are certain they can see the trail, with comments like “I am just doing what my competitors are doing” or “I have been doing it this away for years.” What they don’t often realize is that there is often a better way, one that is more effective and with more return on investment (ROI).
Let’s return for a moment to the Superstition Mountains and my story. After we found ourselves going in circles, who was it that helped the boys correct their course? It was the leader or for our purposes, the guide. A guide or team whom has traveled the course before you, can be a critical part of any brand strategy. Translating the needs of any customer takes wisdom, and wisdom comes from application or experience. The question of balancing budgets, timelines and other variables found within any company is hard enough, now add navigating a brand promise and strategy and it’s no surprise many get lost along their way.
Rain Visual Strategy + Design has decades of experience spanning multiple industries developing brand strategies, and can successfully help guide your company through the unknown terrain. Through our strategic process, we keep the end objectives in mind, but in reality, we look at the very first step and then for the next step, and so on. Each step serves to build and support the brand promise and brings us closer and closer to our client destinations. This approach has proven to deliver successful branding, growth and improved customer loyalty and market strength.
In the end, it’s all about growth. With strategic storytelling and a guided brand strategy, Rain Visual Strategy + Design helps businesses to grow.
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