Branding

Company Branding – Why Can’t We Do This Ourselves?

Company Branding and Brand strategy is the process of identifying and articulating who you are, what you do and why you matter – as clearly and compellingly as possible in ways that are unique, motivational, sustainable and meaningful to all of your critical audiences.

It can be difficult for an executive team to step back from the flow of business for any period of time and think holistically about where the business is going. What are the big ideas will drive their critical audiences? And, how can the executive team arrive at a consensus when multiple ideas are generated at the decision table?

A clear brand strategy can be a powerful tool for the overall company branding, and finding the right consulting team to gain strategic branding advantage is critical.

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Three Key Brand Success Factors: Clarity, Relevance and Engagement

Every afternoon, we get an email called the Chart of the Day from the Silicon Alley Insider, a unit of the larger content publisher Business Insider. This chart is always current, relevant, topical, and easy to digest in under a minute. A minute is about the amount of time that we give it each day, but we remember these charts, and the simple points they make, and find ourselves referring back to them often.

Brand Success Factors

These charts tell a simple story, visually, relevantly, and succinctly. They tell us who is responsible for the most bandwidth usage on the Internet (Netflix by far), where Apple’s astounding revenues come from (iPhone more than 50%) and who pays the most for software developers (Facebook, $110K). They never try to do any more beyond connecting the reader to a deeper article in which he or she may be interested.

These Charts of the Day, while highly focused and specific, represent a clear, relevant and engaging promise­ – one that can be delivered every day with consistency. Each chart tells different brand success stories, but the overall promise, of a quickly digestible snapshot into the business of technology, is fulfilled every time.

It is a helpful exercise to look at brands like this, and to consider the questions, “What is the promise we can make with our brand that gives us the flexibility to deliver over time, and the challenge to continue to fulfill customer expectations?” and “How can my brand deliver on its promise in a clear, relevant and engaging way, every day?” and, in this particular case, “If I had only one minute to deliver value to my customers, what would I say?” When brands get this right, customers recognize, appreciate and remember the value they create.

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Destination Branding: Where to Start?

As visitor and meeting planner budgets shrink in a struggling economy, many cities have chosen to use destination branding in an effort to increase tourism and business travel to their location. Knowing where to start when developing a destination brand can mean the difference between success and failure.

Destination Branding

Understand Destination Complexities

Because the branding of a city or town is designed to not only bring tourists to the area, but also to assist in economic development, many voices must be heard in the development process. Business owners may have a different view on how to brand the city than the visitor’s bureau may have, while an economic council may have its own unique, bottom-line driven perspective.

Know Your Strengths

Often, cities forget to brand themselves as “something different” and focus on standard tourist attractions or on the business aspect of the location. In 2007, Santa Rosa, Calif., whose previous slogan was simply “Come Visit” found that visitors were choosing smaller, surrounding towns for conventions and vacations. City officials conducted research and learned that Santa Rosa was considered an excellent place to conduct business. With more than 200 wineries surrounding the city, Santa Rosa designed a new strategy to promote their agricultural heritage. The new campaign, “Place of Plenty,” was designed to attract business visitors who were looking for excellent food and wine venues in addition to business and convention amenities.

Use History and Geography to Your Advantage

Many cities rely on history or a unique geographical or historical attribute to promote the area. East Coast cities attract visitors to the Atlantic Ocean, while Williamsburg, Va., focuses on the history aspects of the surrounding area. One city that has enjoyed success in its rebranding effort is Lexington, Kentucky, the self-proclaimed Horse Capital of the World. In 2010 the city hosted the World Equestrian Games, and thousands of tourists visited from around the world. The Lexington Visitor and Convention Bureau worked with Pentagram Design to create a distinctive identity for the city centered around amythical blue racehorse named “Big Lex”, a cross between the famous Kentucky bluegrass and their equestrian heritage. The new campaign gave the city a memorable icon that builds off its unique heritage.

By knowing the strengths of your city or town, it is possible to develop successful destination branding strategies that will increase visitors and economic growth.

Marshall Strategy

Do you want to tap into successful branding strategies and corporate identity efforts? Marshall Strategy has a proven track record of making a difference for our clients. Contact us today to find out what Marshall Strategy can do for you. Find out what we’re doing in the social world by “Liking” us on Facebook, following us on Twitter and subscribing to our YouTube channel. Also, find us on LinkedIn and follow our blog for more useful industry information.

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Strategic Identity and Your Corporate Image

Corporate Identity Branding and Strategy

Some people believe that “image is everything” when it comes to marketing their company. Others think “identity” begins and ends with a logo.

The reality is, both are important, and identity and image have a critical relationship in telling your unique story.

We believe that a strategic identity should help you clearly articulate who you are, what you do, and why you matter to your key audiences, in ways that are ownable, believable, beneficial, sustainable, and profitable.

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Corporate Identity and Branding – A Reality Check

Some people believe that “image is everything” when it comes to corporate identity and branding. Others think “identity” begins and ends with a logo.

The reality is, both are important, and corporate identity and image have a critical role within brand marketing strategy. Branding consultants are a great resource when designing your successful branding strategies.

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Corporate Identity Guidelines: 4 Requirements For A Successful Strategy

Corporate identity guidelines in today’s fast paced world, may evolve with our changing marketplaces, yet a corporate identity strategy is simple in concept but can be challenging to deliver. Strategic brand identity is the disciplined effort to succinctly define what a company or brand does, why it matters to its critical audiences, and why it is better than the competition. Regardless of a company’s size, from start-ups to large, complex multinational corporations, its identity strategy needs to be expressed simply and compellingly, and that’s where the hard work begins.

In order to develop brand strategy, you need to first identify brand objectives. There needs to be internal alignment on the brand’s direction to ensure that all the moving parts are moving towards the same goal. Once this alignment is achieved, there can be greater clarity and relevance in communications, which ultimately leads to greater audience appeal. A company that has identified its strategic objectives will have better focus on its mission and greater impact in its market. Over the years, we’ve developed corporate identity guidelines, and found the following four key brand requirements are critical for a successful corporate identity strategy.

Differentiation. In today’s highly competitive market, brands need to have a clear differentiation or reason for being. What they represent needs to be stand apart from others in order to be noticed, make an impression, and to ultimately to be preferred.
Relevance. Brands need to connect to what people care about out in the world. To build demand, they need understand and fulfill the needs and aspirations of their intended audiences.
Coherence. To assure credibility with their audiences, brands must be coherent in what they say and do. All the messages, all the marketing communications, all the brand experiences, and all of the product delivery need to hang together and add up to something meaningful.
Esteem. A brand that is differentiated, relevant and coherent is one that valued by both its internal and external audiences. Esteem is the reputation a brand has earned by executing clearly on both its promised and delivered experience.

Delivering on these brand requirements requires discipline, insight, and a clear understanding of the company’s objectives, audience, competition, and opportunity.

Ask Marshall About Corporate Identity for Your Business
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