The first thing I ask when I meet a client is whether they have a brand document I can read. If they do have one, it’s usually located after a lengthy search around their office and of their computer. After blowing the dust away, I open it and almost always find a perfectly rational document, using lofty and beautiful words that, taken together, are meaningless, uninspiring, and incapable of being acted upon.
Starting with the content strategy, it’s important to first define what your content needs and goals are. If you’re not sure what your content needs and goals are, we recommend conducting a thorough content audit. A content audit starts with a reader intent and performance analysis of your current website, blog, and social media content.
In its simplest terms, branding is having the courage to stand for something, ensuring, of course, that the target market both wants it and, preferably, is not currently getting it. This is the basis for a long-term relationship that the most successful brands understand connects on both a rational – “I want it because of what it does” – and emotional – “I want it because of how it makes me feel” – basis.
Finding “the one” is hard, especially if you’ve never worked with an agency before.
And hey, maybe working with an agency isn’t for you and your business. That’s okay. We just hope this blog post can help answer some of the more common questions that arise for small to mid-size businesses considering hiring an agency. So, do you need an agency? Let’s first start with what you’re looking for.
In its simplest terms, marketing is the communication bridge between your target audience and your brand. So once you’ve taken the critical first step and nailed down what you stand for as a brand, you then need to determine how you want to engage with your target market. This process of consumer engagement represents your brand communication strategy, and consists of four key parts.
Before all is said and done, and you’re about to layout a roadmap for your brand, I believe there are five rules in building a brand you should know and, hopefully, follow. I’ve listed them in order of importance, as follows, and while the rules are relevant for any-size company, I’ve written them from the perspective of the start-up or smaller company.
I once went to a speech given by the then-CEO of P&G, and he said something that I knew instinctively was true, and I’ve followed his advice ever since: Every brand has a story, and it’s your responsibility as the head of a company or marketing director, to tell it.
What is a brand? It seems everyone has their own definition, and I have mine. It’s sometimes easiest to say what it isn’t, especially in an area where there appears to be the most confusion, so here goes – a brand is not a name, logo or package design. These are important, of course, but are really outward reflections of what the brand is rather than embodying its core essence.