Whether you realize it or not, you are building your personal image and brand each and every day. Everything you say, wear and write contributes to the formation of your brand and reputation. Any time that you waver from your brand and the expectations you have set, chances are that people will notice. The same can be said about your business.
Your logo, communications, tone, graphical style and customer experience are just as important as combing your hair. We have compiled a few tips below to keep your brand in great shape for years to come.
Establish Your Baseline:
Establishing a brand guide is one of the first steps to defining your external footprint. Creating templates, guidelines and standards for your logo usage, business cards, marketing materials and email signatures seems like a mundane and unnecessary task, but it goes a long way. Not only will this solidify your ideas, but it will also give your employees the confidence that a unified strategy is at play. Moreover, as your company grows and your team expands, having these guides will ensure that your branding remains consistent for the road ahead.
All the Small Things:
Your product is great — remove any distractions! Although harsh, a small and obvious error can eclipse an entire document. Take the time to fully review your external facing materials, marketing pieces and operation documents. Is your logo always in full resolution? Do all of your external communications embody the same voice and branding? Bringing a close eye to everything leaving the office while building the importance of marketing internally can have a major impact on your brand.
It is hard to recognize something that constantly changes its appearance. Your business is the same. Keeping your logo and branding consistent is an easy way to maintain a steady external presence and build upon past successes. Sure, there are always little tweaks and upgrades, but keeping the underlying look, feel, and tone of your company the same can build a sustained image in the public eye.
Coca-Cola is a fantastic example of consistent brand presence. Since the turn of the 20th century, a near identical Coca-Cola script font has adorned glass bottles across the country and across the globe. On the other side of the spectrum, sometimes a rebrand can be for the worse. In 2009, Tropicana removing their classic orange-with-a-straw logo and replacing with sleek, modern version. Long-time fans were not impressed. After thousands of emails, phone calls and letters, Tropicana reversed their branding and stating they, “underestimated the deep emotional bond” customers had with the aesthetics of the company.
Every Interaction Matters:
There’s some truth to the “Six Degrees of Separation” theory: every person on earth is only separated by six conversations. Imagine how close-knit your industry is! Keeping your reputation and brand in pristine condition begins with ending each conversation on a positive note. In short, having friends and working together is far more valuable than developing enemies or competitors. Ending each meeting with a cooperative tone is a fantastic way to keep you—and your brand—in the best possible light.
With a few simple changes and little more attention to key areas, your logo will begin to tell a story. Effective external affairs reflect an internal respect for your brand and a commitment to fostering your company’s image into the future. Millions of dollars can be spent to develop a brand, but maintaining it is just as important.