Branding from the Foundation Up

Why is Your brand culture so important right now?

It’s a new year in an uncertain world. Your startup or established organization is hoping to position itself to realize success in 2021, but where do you start?

Do you start with a new website with the latest functionality, or do you start with a new innovative product or service? Maybe your marketing strategies need to focus on customer loyalty? These paths are a good start but not the only answer. To start 2021 off on the right foot, you might want to focus on establishing and re-energizing your organization’s culture and the foundation of your brand.

Why Branding?

First impressions are everything in a world where immediate information and gratification is the standard, and your brand must sound and look like it belongs from day one — or year fifteen. Jeff Pruitt, CEO of Tallwave, said it best, “Foundational elements that make up a brand cannot and should not be pushed off. Those foundational elements — your position statement, your value propositions… are tools to help you sell and are the first impression your business makes to customers, investors and employees.” Your organization can find momentary success with a misaligned brand foundation, but the day may come when investors and customers realize your brand no longer delivers on what they’re looking for and may find another brand that will.

Signs of Misaligned Branding

How do you know when your brand foundation is in need of some help? It’s not an exact science but there are key indicators and accompanying questions to ask yourself before deciding to review your brand in the near future.

Customer Service

Does your brand meet the expectations of your customers and do you deliver on the promise you made to them?

Try asking them, what you learn could be enlightening.

New Product/Service Launch

Are you launching a new product/service that is outside of your current market?

Your brand messaging may need to account for this growth.

Market Landscape

Has your market share downshifted in the past few years?

Does your brand look outdated when you compare it to your competitors?

Many organizations experience a boost after a brand facelift due to renewed interest and energy in the organization, internally and externally.

If you answered yes to at least one of these questions, your brand foundation may need a closer examination.

Misalignment is an Opportunity

A misalignment in your branding should be viewed as an opportunity, not a problem. Some of the strongest organizations find themselves realigning their brand elements to create more meaningful connections with their customers and employees.

Kevin Krone, Southwest’s Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer, had this to say about their recent rebranding effort, “The job wasn’t to change who we are. We already know who we are. The job was to keep the elements of Southwest that our employees and customers love, and to make them a bold, modern expression of our future.” Establishing a brand foundation that speaks to your customer is not only good for business, it’s good for an organization’s internal culture.

Revisiting your brand’s fundamental elements will help your organization reconnect with what makes your organization unique. Digging deeper with questions about values, target markets and future goals will help align your core staff and revitalize your organization’s sense of purpose, setting your brand up for success in 2021.

Are you ready to review your brand foundation? Get a free consultation on what you can do to improve your branding by contacting the ShiftUp team.