All brands have one thing in common - well 3 actually - the 3 perceptions of a brand:
1. Brand preconception - we have opinions of a companies brand before we use their products, services or interact with them or buy their products.
2. Brand interaction - your impression of a brand whilst interacting with it. How you feel when they communicate with you or how you feel whilst using its products and services.
3. Brand memory - this is essentially how you feel once you’ve used their product, eaten their meal, fixed your laptop with their help... it’s how you remember that brand from then on. Would you buy it again, would you use their service again or, just as importantly, would you recommend them to a friend?
Most companies only focus on the preconception of their brand - the advertising and getting of sales etc, which is of course paramount to success. That said, really successful brands focus just as intently on brand interaction and brand memory. Why? That’s simple, because they’re not creating customers; they’re creating lifelong fans. These fans will use that brands products and services forever, talk to their friends about it, spread the word... and all this sometimes fanatically (see Apple!). Add social media to the equation and the ‘Worlds’ the limit.
A brand is not just a logo - a brand is a perception, it’s something that lives in the minds of others, not on your website. Intelligent branding will create strong and consistent messages that will start to positively influence the masses, long before they’ve even used your products or services.
A brand is not a font, a tag-line or a logotype. One of the best ways to visualise your brand values is to imagine your brand as a person with a personality, is it a he or a she, how does she talk, is he helpful, kind, or strong-willed and motivated? Does he start debates or calm wars, and of course who are his/her friend and who do they work with. The more you start to identify your brand as a persona, the easier it is to associate with and clearly identify.
People often come to us wanting to re-brand - first things first, we discuss if and why this should happen, sometimes the changes need to be dramatic and sometimes a brand just needs some minor surgery. There are however times when it’s best to take things back to the drawing board and start again from scratch - it all depends on where you are and where you want to get to in your marketplace.
Consistency within a brand is crucial, whatever your market and however big you are - it matters.
When you have teams of people working for you and with you, the best way to do this is to have a full and comprehensive brand guideline, to ensure that everyone who works with the brand knows what it really stands for. This will lead with the company goals and beliefs, and this then permeates into any and all forms of communication from tone of voice, fonts, colours, signage, imagery, stationary, digital communication like websites and every form of advertising and marketing; even the way the phones are answered, we can ensure everything is consistently on message.
For this to work in the real world however there needs to be a brand ambassador, a gate keeper. Someone who knows your brand inside out and can recite your brand guidelines from memory - we do this for many companies even though they have their own marketing departments - we stand as their brand ambassadors because on the whole, we are delivering most of the work and we can always stay objective to ensure everything is always being done - on brand.
We hope your brand preconception of Alight is going well, fortunately for you we focus on the our brand interaction (working with you) and brand memory (long term business and delivering constant support) much, much harder and passionately - which is why we have quite a lot of fans now.
We would love to hear from you to though, the more fans the better! Give us a call today on 0845 009 8020 or press the “contact us” button at the bottom of the page and we will see how we can make your brand bring you fans too.