Toward a Broader Understanding of Brand

Most businesspeople and students of marketing would probably agree with the statement that your brand is important. Yet, despite this importance, the concept of a brand isn’t always easy to grasp. Part of that problem is because a brand is made of so many components that it needs to be considered very broadly.

In an article for Forbes titled “Your Brand Isn’t What You Think It Is,” author Ty Kiisel points out that most people don’t truly understand what a brand is. Kiisel writes: “I think most people would agree (although there are still some holdouts), your brand is not your logo or your colors. Of course the colors you choose and the way you present your name to the world is considered part of your brand, but it’s not the most important part. Your brand isn’t what you say you are either.” This is true … but what is your brand?

Strategic Communications generally define brand as the “personality” of a company (or product, or service, or individual), which is defined by the company’s various target audiences based on every single interaction or touchpoint they have with the organization across all 4 P’s of the traditional marketing mix (product, price, place, promotion). Broad right?

Part of the reason for the breadth of the brand concept derives from the fact that your brand is defined by a wide range of stakeholders. Organizations can identify their desired brand attributes and work to ensure that their audiences’ interactions serve to support those desired attributes, but it is the consumer who defines the brand. Note that this also applies to what is often called the “employer brand”—employees define the brand; the employers’ role, and generally the HR function’s role, is to manage the brand.

A brand is important for a company because, if positive, it will serve to drive engagement, interaction and, ultimately, purchases! If not positive, the reverse will occur. The value of establishing a positive brand can be quickly demonstrated by taking a look at Interbrand’s research on the top global brands (and the top brands in a variety of different categories). Clearly the companies that make the list are companies that take their brands seriously and spend a great deal of time and effort ensuring that consumer interactions with the brand are positive. What I find interesting year over year is how little change occurs in the companies that hold the top spots on this list. They’re good companies to study and emulate when it comes to brand building, brand management and brand maintenance.

We write, speak and work with clients frequently on brand audits, brand management, and branding communications. Here’s a link to a post that outlines the steps we like to take when embarking on these types of projects.

What brand image would you like to hold in the mind of your target audiences? What image do you currently hold? If you don’t know, it’s probably a good idea to take some steps to find out.

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About Us

Strategic Communications, LLC, works with B2B clients to help them achieve their goals through effective content marketing and management with both internal and external audiences. We are adept at evaluating and analyzing communication efforts and working with clients to plan, create and publish high-quality, unique content, through both on- and offline media to achieve desired results. Our background in business journalism, marketing, PR/media relations and online communications makes us well-positioned to serve the needs of 21st-century marketers.

We serve clients who are looking for help creating content for a wide array of channels—from social media posts to full-length manuscripts, and everything in between. We focus primarily on service-related B2B topics and work with a number of independent consultants interested in building their thought leadership through online channels. For ongoing content management, our first step is to fully understand your goals, objectives and competitive landscape.

Then we’ll conduct a thorough analysis and assessment of your digital presence, compared to competitors, and recommend a communication strategy to achieve your goals. But, we also regularly take on individual projects – white papers, blog posts, contributed articles, etc. If you’re interested in learning more, let us know!

(Strategic Communications is certified as a Woman-Owned Business Enterprise through the Wisconsin Department of Administration.)

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