This article by Monica Skipper, head of brand management at FedEx, covers the essentials of a strong brand.
Step 1: Know who you are. What is your company’s reason for being? What is your brand’s promise to customers? This identity is the key to your branding efforts. No matter how slick your marketing materials or how memorable your logo, if you don’t know who you are, it will be very difficult to consistently communicate your brand or consistently deliver on your brand’s promise.
Step 2: Be who you are. That consistent delivery comes from being who you are. FedEx is reliable – that’s its identity. Customers don’t care about the logistics of parcel delivery or the internal workings of FedEx, only about their items being reliably picked up, handled, and delivered as promised. Every part of your company that impacts customers must “be who you are” – inconsistently delivered CX will undermine your brand and efforts to build customer loyalty.
Step 3: Say who you are. Skipper says, “Once you know who you are and you’re delivering on that promise, you need to say who you are to customers — over and over again.” She encourages adapting your branding efforts to different audiences, but to keep the crux of your message consistent. Don’t let the fear of redundancy keep you from saying who you are over and over again. Says Skipper: “If you want customers to instinctively associate your business with your brand promise, you can’t be afraid to repeat yourself.”
The key takeaway from the article is that if you skip the first step, you’re in trouble. You can’t be it until you know what you’re supposed to be being. If you skip the second step, you’re also in trouble. No matter how brilliant your messaging (Step 3), it won’t make up for inconsistent delivery on your brand’s promise.
Know it, be it, say it. Over and over again.