Brand Building 101

Piece of cake, right?

Building a brand isn’t easy. It takes strategic thinking, careful decision-making, and boundless creativity. Your brand is a promise to your current and potential customers alike. It needs to convey your core values and give people a solid sense of who you are and what you’re all about. In other words, it needs to be an all-encompassing signifier of your company. And perhaps most importantly, when people think about your brand, they better have good thoughts. Piece of cake, right?

Of course, just because something isn’t easy doesn’t mean it’s impossible. Here at Mr. Smith we specialize in helping our clients build, launch, and grow their brands. We work closely with every customer to understand their business and get our heads wrapped around their unique value proposition before crafting a brand identity that captures their essence.

But once that brand is launched into the world, that’s when the real fun begins: brand protection. When you work so hard to create an identity, it’s important to ensure that you don’t let it become tainted or corrupted by poor customer service, a public relations disaster, or anything else. Really, that’s pretty much common sense, so we don’t need to discuss that further.

Instead let’s focus a bit of time and energy talking about a less obvious (but no less critical) component of brand protection: innovation.

Successful brands don’t allow themselves to become stagnant or complacent. A good brand is an evolving thing requiring constant careful attention and a willingness to stay current in order to remain relevant.

Now, are we advocating for a complete brand overhaul every two weeks? Or even two years? Of course not! The core of your brand, the bedrock of your identity, will essentially never have to change. Instead, what we’re advocating for are small tweaks, creative marketing campaigns, and other minor details that help keep your brand strong and at the forefront of consumer consciousness.

Need some examples? Here we go:

 

Keep Your Logo Fresh

Virtually every brand tweaks their logo from time to time. These changes might be subtle, but since when does subtle mean unimportant? As your company grows and further understands itself, its visual representation needs to keep pace.

Let Your Words Do the Talking

Maybe you’re not ready to update the logo itself, and that’s fine. But perhaps a new tagline is in order? Or an alternate tagline? Think deeply about how your customer base is interacting with your company and create messaging that pays attention to that interaction.

Refresh Your Website

This is a big one. The Internet is a wild place. Things move fast and it’s pretty easy to start looking dated if you don’t pay attention to your web presence. Of course, we advocate for following website redesign best practices, which can largely be boiled down to making sure you don’t corrupt the brand in service of web design. But there’s still plenty of opportunity to stay fresh and cutting edge.

 

Try New Campaigns/Mediums

Embrace change. Have you always advertised in the newspaper? Maybe it’s time to further investigate digital media planning. Have a strong Facebook presence but nothing else? Try to grow on another social network. Expanding your reach and highlighting different products/aspects of your service isn’t just recommended…it’s essential.

There are other things you can do to play with your brand, but this list is a good start. Pay attention to these things and you’ll keep your brand strong and vibrant and your bottom line enjoying steady growth.

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