5 essential concepts in corporate branding

Thought Leadership on Executive Recruiting by Search Consultants. If corporate branding is about one thing, it’s about building an authentic relationship with your consumer base. Consumers want to interact with a real company, one with values that aren’t just colourful catch-phrases visible only on the company’s website. Let these values inform your approach to doing business, and your consumers will take note. In doing so, you’ll be able to build the trust and reputation necessary to sustain and grow your brand. No matter where you are in the brand building process (which is never finished, as you’ll see below) keep the following corporate branding concepts in the front of your mind. Providing a solution In a world where every brand stakes a claim as an industry leader, how do you distance yourself from the pack? Instead of asserting claims that have no real meaning if everyone is making them, focus on how you can best provide a solution to your base. Learn what the needs of your base are and develop a strategy that will enable you to fulfil these needs. Shift your focus from your competitors to your base. This alone will demonstrate how your brand differentiates itself, and where your priorities lie. Interaction Consumers want to know that you care about their experience with your brand. The way to demonstrate this is through proactive interactions with your consumer base, both in the real world and the virtual world. Social media platforms have given companies a wealth of opportunities to engage their base in meaningful dialogue with no limit to participation. Match your online engagement with an equal effort in real-world interaction. Going the extra mile in personal interactions with your customers is one of the best things you can do to build lasting relationships that create brand loyalty. Practising what you preach All companies create an image of core values and beliefs that inform their actions. But if you don’t demonstrate to your base that you live by these values, consumers will easily see through the facade. If you’re an energy efficiency consultant, for example, make sure customers know that you’re not just selling energy efficiency, you’re living by it. You might think this is understood, but the reality is that you need to demonstrate this to your base in every facet of your operations. From simple tag-lines on emails advising recipients not to print this email unless it’s necessary, to environmentally-friendly packaging, show your base that you practice what you preach at every available opportunity. Consistency in experience The previous point leads well into this next essential branding concept: consistency in experience. Consumers want to know that regardless of platform or venue, the level of engagement they receive from your brand is the same as what they’ve come to expect from previous interactions. Consistency is the concept that will take your brand to the next level. You win a customer by providing them with a solution and engaging with them in a meaningful and positive way. You retain this customer by showing them that they can expect the same treatment no matter where they interact with your brand. Evolution A brand that has staying power is a brand that knows it needs to evolve alongside an ever-changing market. The wants and needs of your base are not static. It’s your job to re-evaluate your brand at strategic intervals and determine what changes need to be made. This is a delicate balancing act. You don’t want to alienate your existing base, but at the same time you do want to attract new customers by staying relevant. The key is to remember that no matter where the market goes, your brand’s reputation will still depend on the actions you’ve taken to get it to this point. Keep the previous four essential branding concepts in mind, and evolution will follow naturally.

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