In our twelve years of business consulting at StudioIMI, we have been asked to help with company Branding many times. In most cases it is very obvious what the brand is. Some require more discovery and we approach this by investigating the business in terms of the vision, the known product or service, what the customers think and how the company is perceived.
My background in business included ten years as a Manager with Motorola, which is one of the more well-known brands (the bat wings) and this taught me the importance of branding efforts. In fact, Motorola an entire thick manual on how their logo is to be utilized and marketed.
I often go through this process as an observer with small groups representing the organization. They bring many disparate ideas of what their brand is. It is somewhat amusing to see the diversity of opinions and thoughts that are well meaning but quite inexperienced. Many are, from my perspective (thirty years of executive marketing), on the wrong track and can’t really effectively qualify the meaning of the organization’s brand. “Too many cooks” in a lot of situations.
In my humble opinion which I express when asked, the brand is usually quite a simple one: a golf course has a signature hole and related venues, an IT company has built it’s brand by providing on-time and effective software/hardware repairs, a restaurant has a particular dish that people love and return time and time again to enjoy.
To me, a brand does not represent extreme luxury, it is not prestige, it is not the staff (although this may be important)… it is the feeling of returning time and again to visit the business and make use of its products and services. The brand has some intangible aspects which are uncovered through interaction with clients, members, partners and prospects.
It does continue to amaze me that some organizations do not look for the solution that is right in front of them. They try to create the brand in their own mind’s eye instead of what the market perceives it to be.
Ask the customers who uses the venue what they think, ask the partners about their perceptions or experiences, ask the local market what they think of the organization. It only takes a relatively small amount of research to define the brand once these questions are answered.
A brand absolutely includes the website, the logo, the collateral materials and related marketing pieces. Many aspects of any organization or business combine to define the brand. Unfortunately too many organizations overthink this and search for something too complex. They are forced to listen to a very few, empowered individuals with minimal marketing experience or they just aim far too high. In the end, it is quite simple. The Executive Management team needs to check their ego at the door, seek answers to the right questions and take advantage of internal and external data points.
If you are struggling with Branding issues, StudioIMI can help. We have experience with more than 300 business across North America and Europe. Out team has experience working with organizations including: Intel, Philips, General Motors, Boeing, Home Hardware, RE/MAX, and many smaller companies as well. We are here to help when you are ready. Call us at 778-440-3031