Many people have a less of a brand and more of a product or service, but a having a brand is what positions your organization for the next level of success. Products and services are one time sells. A brand is a lifetime of customer loyalty. This is true in both the product and service industry. It is true in both for-profit and non-profit organizations. Branding is not your logo. Branding is a set of unique values and ideas that tell your customers the “Why” of your organization. Branding is what gives people a sense of confidence, passion, belonging, security, and action when they view your organization. So here is a short list of 5 steps to improving your organization’s brand.
Define Your Values
What is it that you and your organization value? Is it customer service? Is it the quality of the product? Or is it something more ethereal? Take the time to sit down and define this. Defining your values will help keep your brand on the right track. You won’t create a product or service that would go against these values. And these values clearly define to your employees the values they need to project to customers when representing you. Ultimately these values will create the proper expectation of your customers and clients of what they can expect when experiencing your brand.
Why do you do what you do?
People are sold on the story of your brand more than the products and services you offer. Understanding the “Why” of your organization is what connects people emotionally to your organization. For the people who work for or with you, this is what helps them see the greater purpose of your organization.
Create a Positioning Statement
A positioning statement answers the question “why should I chose your organization over another organization?” For example, why do people choose to buy an Apple Computer for $2000 when you can get a comparable Windows PC for about $995? The answer is because Apple has positioned their brand as one of the highest grade and quality and so you pay an extra $1,000 for the name of “Apple”. It helps position you as number 1 in people’s mind. Answer this question: When people think of my brand this is what I want them to think of: ____________________. This is your positioning.
Get your brand story straight
Where have you been? Where are you going? Where are you now? Getting the brand story straight just helps everyone get on board and moving in the right direction. Four more questions you can ask to help get your story straight are: What industry are you in? What category of that industry are you in? What is your specialty? And what is your number 1 specialty?
Map Out Your Customer’s Journey
Using your brand story determine where you want to get your customers too. Then determine how to get your customers there. If you’re a church organization that might be to gain membership. This means you need to map out the journey from a guest that shows up to how they become a return guest and then eventually a member. If you were a Real Estate company then you need to find out where your customers are and how to get them to the buying decision. Imagine yourself as the customer and determine what would motivate you to go on that journey to becoming a customer or client of that organization.
I hope that you find this helpful. It is certainly nothing new. And this is not a complete list of branding improvements that you can make, but the number one key is to stop thinking of your brand as a logo, service, or product, but as the experience and feeling that your customers walk away with.
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