Jobs are worked 9–5. Brands are lived 24/7.
Some companies understand the value of branding and the others forever neglect this crucial aspect of business and ultimately suffer as a result.
What is branding exactly?
Is it your logo, your website, your advertisements? Each of these play a part, but they don’t exclusively define a brand. It’s hard to nail down succinctly (and this could be one of the main reasons some companies fail to address the matter) but think of branding as what people are saying and thinking about your company away from the advertisements, what they’re saying and thinking about you when they’re sitting in a café with their friends. What about your brand are they talking about? To whom are they talking about your brand?
They’re going to talk to people who will likely be attracted to what the business sells or offers. If the advertisement strategy has been targeting bold, young women then that’s who’s talking about the brand. This part is simple.
“Their website’s really cool. There’s this thing on there that you’d probably like. Hold on, I’ll send you a link.”
This is where the brand starts to work for the business, where the tone and direction from the logo, the website, the advertisements, and anything else is helping to push an impression of not what the company does but how the company does what they do. How do they talk to people? What does the company feel like? Aggressive and cutting-edge? Kind and comforting? Anything is possible. The best branding agencies know how to communicate personality to potential customers.
We’re just getting started here though, because here’s the really important part of branding. Let me ask you something. When you talk to your friends about a company, what do you talk about?
Think about this question.
Sometimes it’ll be an advertisement or a logo, but most of the time it’s the people, the human experience between the employee and the customer. Was the employee rude? Did they go the extra mile to offer great service? Was it obvious they wanted to be at home instead of work? Did it look like they loved their job?
This is what people talk about.
This is why some real investment should go into branding. Employees become more dedicated and happier when they’re proud of the company for which they work. They’ll share the new website with their friends on Facebook, no longer embarrassed with the old one that looked like it was designed in the early 90s. They’ll proudly tell their family they’re working for the company, because working for that company means being part of a trendy and dynamic brand. The employee feels trendy and dynamic as a result, and works with the same appealing attributes, making damn sure every customer is aware when they walk through the entrance or call or write.
Who wants to invest into their brand now?
The tangible qualities of doing so are more evident than some would have you believe. The strong connection between the work that a branding agency does for a business and the way in which the employees of the business react to the work ought to make branding a priority. The best agencies will create a powerful and consistent brand, with enough room for the business and the employees to make it their own and add to the brand every day by the way in which they speak to their customers: face to face, over the phone, via social media, even when they’re not working.
Be human. Invest into your brand.