If you missed it: Part 1 of 5 (Branding Yourself), Part 2 of 5 (9-part Branding Strategy), Part 3 of 5 (A Strong Branding Foundation) Branding is like SHOWCASING yourself, or Part 4 of 5 (Your Branding Presence):
Just as you’ve spent all this time, effort and energy into building your brand, there’s the relentless management of your brand that often trips people up. You might spend months meeting with the architect and making plans for a new house. You meet with all the right people and ultimately your house moves beyond brick and sheetrock to the beautiful masterpiece it has always been in your mind. Your new house is exquisite! You announce your open house and everyone comes for a visit. What fun to showcase your new loft!
But then fast forward a few months and it’s time for Christmas. You’d love to host a holiday gathering, but the first question your spouse asks is “have you seen how filthy this place it?!!!” You can spend hours building what is beautiful and dreamy. But without regular maintenance and upkeep, it’ll be hidden by the dust and grim that builds up!
In your own branding, you have got to remain on the forefront of the assault of protecting and maintaining your brand. Perhaps there’s new news that comes out in the local paper about your company and it’s not good. You’ve got to jump out there and defending your brand (and possibly doing whatever it takes to correct the mistakes if indeed there were any). Another cool way to stay on top of what’s being said about your brand is staying in touch with what’s being said about you. Through cool tools like RSS and Google News Alerts, you can stay on top of whatever is being written about your company’s name. Without this information, you are left unarmed, abandoned to the unknown as to whether or not good/bad things are being said about you. In the online world of blogs and forums of all kinds, things can be said about you without you having a clue – but with the right tools, you can know if there are conversations happening that mention your name. To their surprise (especially if it’s a blogging frenzy against you because of somone’s bad experience). You could stand back, aloof and saying to yourself, “who cares?” – OR – you can choose to engage in this blog discussion and try to clear the air a little. Nothing will shock the bloggers more than hearing directly from the one who has ulimate responsibility over your company’s brand name. This can go a long ways in repairing your brand image and you might even win a few converts because of your engaging personality!
As well, don’t let yourself (or others) get lazy in maintain a consistency about the key elements of your brand. Especially if you are launching a new logo anytime soon, make sure anyone and everyone who has access to the old logo knows to destroy the old logo! Lazy folks just use whatever is easiest to find and often dilute the efforts of your strategic branding strategy! If appropriate, post your “media kit” on your page so any external sources (media) can download the current logo, headshots of CEOs, or even brief biographical information.
Here’s a good link that reinforces the importance of managing your brand!
The final step in the branding strategy is to simply craft a PLAN! Make yourself a schedule – and know right up front that you can’t do it all at once. Small baby steps – but steps with a goal! Be strategic and systematic about it – it’s a long-term strategy to build credibility – it’s all about getting people to KNOW, LIKE and TRUST you.
Finally, here’s an article by John Jantsch, founder and creator of Duct Tape Marketing, that rounds out our 5-part series on branding! Hope you enjoyed it! Thanks to the other Marketing Twin, Donny for keeping these posts going while I’ve been in Benin, West Africa. I’ll return on Tuesday night so pray for a safe return.
p.s. Did you hear the exciting news from the Double Take LIVE Broadcast on Tuesday? If not, here it is: On Wednesday, October 8th at NOON CST, the Marketing Twins will be interviewing for it’s 3rd Double Take LIVE Broadcast a Gold Medal winner from the 2008 Beijing Olympics. Stephanie Brown Trafton won GOLD in the women’s discus as part of the Track & Field competition. Stephanie’s faith will inspire us all as she pulls back the curtain on what life is like as an Olympic athlete and how her faith rescued her Olympic dream! You may have even seen Stephanie on the Oprah Winfrey Show earlier this week. Mark your calendars for these two key dates: Friday, September 19th when registration begins and Wednesday, October 8th for the actual call !! Go to our UPCOMING EVENTS page for more details!