Branding: Rise. Wash. And Repeat.

Branding. Every company seems to be going through a rebranding campaign. Marketing specialists can’t stop talking about brand.  I don’t want to add the plethora of inaccurate information or participate in spreading these murky perceptions of brand. I’m here to set it right. Companies that have a true grasp of brand and its positioning can embedded these key concepts into their marketing communication strategies. If implemented correctly, it can become what the women at Warschawski call a “Rinse. Wash. And Repeat” cycle.  It becomes a virtuous cycle, building brand strength over and over.

Brand Is Not Your Tagline And Brand Is Not Your Logo

Brand Is Not Your Tagline And It's Not Your Logo

This should have been tattooed on my forehead while at Warschawski. Taglines and logos are important supporting elements of your brand. Brand is the basic emotional experience that you want consumers to have each time they come in contact with your company, product, or service. Let’s take a look at service, specifically customer service. Excellent customer service is rare. Our daily encounter with businesses as customers is usually mediocre or poor. Excellent service is exceeding the customers’ expectations and giving them an experience of a lifetime. Companies are giving control to customers by creating dialogue via social media platforms. Scott Stratten, President of Un-Marketing, says,

Everyone is a marketer and everyone is marketing.


But no one talks about “meh” customer service.  By giving them an experience (or a story), customers are inclined to share their pleasant encounter with others. Remember stories are sticky. See my previous blog post Sticky Ideas Brings SUCCESS: Creating Unforgettable Advertisement Ideas that Stick for more sticky ideas.

Know. Like. Trust.

Customers believe information from people that they know, like, and trust.  By spreading their story, others might be more likely to try the company’s services for themselves. Make a mistake and there can be a brand disconnect. Your loyal customers might forgive you the first time, but companies should act as if every interaction is a first encounter. Like a first date, first impressions are crucial how people perceive your company, service, or product. However, even with the increase of companies leveraging social media as part of their integrated marketing communications campaign, the average person doesn’t believe news from social media platforms compared to other means of newsgathering mediums.

Edelman's 2011 Trust Barometer®Above is a chart from Edelman’s 2011 Trust Barometer®, the annual survey that gauges attitudes about the state of trust in business, government, NGOs and media across 23 countries. If we look closer at the numbers above, social media only accounts for 5% of first new source. Watch the short video overview on the key findings from the President and CEO, Richard Edelman.

 

Steve Rebul, Director of Insight at Digital Edelman, highlights an important point in the video below dealing with brand. Search engines are no longer just search engines but reputation engines.

 

Whether passionate customers, bloggers, or creditable media outlets establish your brand reputation, well-planned marketing communications campaigns have what I call by-product PR opportunities. These built-in public relations campaigns complement your marketing program and even further reinforce your brand in online or traditional print publications.

Rinse. Wash. And Repeat.

You have established your brand, developed a marketing program (that consistent with your brand values), and have a strong built-in public relations campaigns so now just Rinse. Wash. And Repeat. and watch your brand strength grow.

What is your favorite campaign that has illustrated the “Rinse. Wash. And Repeat” brand cycle?

Advertisements

Email Signatures Build Personal BrandI’m no scientist but there is one thing I have down to a science. Applying for jobs. I have a standard email draft waiting to be customized for each position and company.  Another for a more creative position. This email already has my resume, cover letter and references attached; begging to be opened and adored by potential employers. Yet the phone calls aren’t coming in. DANG IT! Then I read an article about email and personal branding. Seems like I needed to step my game up to become a front runner for each position (specially in communications/marketing and media industry).

Email:

Create an email signature. Have your brand incorporated into to signature so people can immediately associate you with your work. Show off your personal logo at the bottom followed by all the ways to stay connected: Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, blog, Flicker, or YouTube channel, ect. Don’t forget the basics. Include your name, tag-line or job title, your work mailing address (optional), email, and phone number. I tried using WiseStamp and failed. Many people are successful.

It must have been me.

So I created my own using a great site Social Media Icons for your Email Signatures where it gives all online icons and a web address to easily insert icon with a Gmail account (and I’m guessing other email servers). To insert an image you just put in the URL of each icon when you click the image button. Then link each image to the the right website. Example: Twitter icon to your Twitter home page. Easy right?  I recommend using 16X16 pixel images if for some reason the site doesn’t have your social networking icon. This was the case for my online portfolio network, Behance.  Here is my email signature.

Email Signature

Simple and sleek. And that’s just what you want. Having an email signature is a blessing for those looking at your work. Instead of searching and digging for your information, they know they have it all right there in one place. For most hiring managers and HR employees, it’s all about convenience.  Let’s make it easy for them. Not to mention, email signatures have more of a professional look. This can potentially transfer over to more followers, phone calls, and connections.

Put it this way, it won’t hurt your brand.