Brands that are presented consistently are 3 to 4 times more likely to have greater brand visibility. Consistent brands see an average revenue increase of 23%. Based on these stats, branding is more than a marketing strategy and is a crucial component of managing a successful business. However, many businesses still struggle to develop and maintain their brand. So where should an organization start?
5 components of an internal brand strategy
Branding starts with the internal team developing and understanding the heart of the organization’s values and mission. These internal brand guidelines aren’t overtly shared with the public, but they make up the heart of everything that drives the business forward.
Your brand purpose or mission statement provides a vision for your employees to follow. The statement should be brief and aspirational. Even if you don’t end up accomplishing this mission right away, it will pull everyone in the right direction.
Some examples of vision statements from famous brands:
Amazon: It’s our goal to be Earth’s most customer-centric company, where customers can find and discover anything online.
Nike: To bring inspiration and innovation to every athlete in the world.
Google: Organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful.
The purpose of a positioning statement is to differentiate your organization by stating the benefits of your product or service to your customer. A positioning statement will typically be updated every few years to match changing market needs and circumstances. The statement should specify who your target audience is, what there core need or opportunity is, how your company benefits that audience and why you are different from the competition.
For example, check out this positioning statement from Gazelle:
At Gazelle, we pay you for the cell phones, iPods, Macs, and other Apple devices you no longer need—helping you upgrade faster or just putting a little extra cash in your pocket.
The goal of a good marketing persona is to transform the way your team thinks about your customers. Rather than seeing them as numbers on a spreadsheet or anonymous visitors to a website, personas should help your team see your customers as real human beings. The traits you will want to gather will depend on the product or service you are offering.
For example, a B2B software company won’t necessarily benefit from knowing an average income or whether or not their audience is married. However, it will be crucial to understanding traits like job title, core job responsibilities, challenges in current job roles and the results they are accountable for.
Once you have a clear picture of who you are marketing to, take that same research to develop your key messaging for each persona. Typically the messaging will highlight how you will help your persona achieve what matters most to them and will address any possible concerns they might have about working with you.
For example, check out this key messaging from MailChimp, an email marketing provider:
You don’t have to be a designer or tech whiz to use MailChimp. Our design tools make it easy to create sophisticated campaigns that shine a light on the best of your business.
Or this key messaging from Hubspot, an inbound marketing software: Learn and grow with award-winning support and a thriving community behind you.
Each statement addresses how the software will help their audience accomplish something important easier or faster than they did before.
The value proposition hones in on the specific features and benefits of each of your individual products or services and how those make you a better choice over the competition.
For example, Uber’s rideshare value proposition states, “Always the ride you want. Request a ride, hop in, and go.” In a few brief sentences, Uber captures the convenience of using a rideshare app over a traditional taxi service.
Once you’ve established you 5 core pieces of internal branding, the next two steps are just as critical. Be sure to communicate the brand you’ve established to all of your employees and ensure all of your external interactions match your brand promise. A one and done approach won’t be effective at accomplishing this. Instead, your brand promise should be part of your everyday conversations as you decide who to hire, plan marketing campaigns and create product roadmaps.
Additionally, ensure all of your research, messaging and value propositions are readily available to every employee. Use a central location to store and manage all of our digital assets. This could be as simple as a shared cloud account or a more advanced asset management system that allows you to tag and search through a large library of brand assets.
Finally, make sure that you are maintaining your brand by updating any old collateral and monitoring social media and customer reviews to ensure the message you want to convey is what your audience is actually hearing. Any major discrepancies between the two could indicate a need for a strategic shift in customer service or how your product is marketed. After all, the only thing worse than an off-color logo is a logo that inspires eye rolls and sighs of frustration.
Creating and maintaining a brand requires commitment. But if you put in the time to develop a quality brand promise with consistent messaging and value propositions, your company will stand out in a highly competitive global market. So, pull out that pen and paper. Gather the team and get started today.
Hand holding a blackboard with Dusseldorf design