I’m sure you’ve seen tons of blog posts out there about the “rules” of branding. Heck, we’ve probably posted some ourselves over the years!
As much as those rules are important, it’s also crucial you recognize that the rules aren’t all there is. Sure, they’re good principles to go by, especially if you’re new to branding or your company is just starting out.
But like any rule, branding rules are meant to be broken. They don’t all apply to every company and brand, and they certainly don’t work with every type of customer or audience.
The truth is, you really have to get to know your brand, your audience and your goals, and only then can you determine the appropriate way to brand your organization – rules or not.
Let’s take a look at some of the so-called branding “rules” and why maybe, just maybe, they’re meant to be broken:
- Be professional. Yes, customers want to know that you’re a resource – a go-to hub for information, services or products they want or need for certain reasons. They want to know you’re an expert – someone they can trust and lean on. But you know what? They also want to know you’re a person – someone just like them, who has feelings, thoughts, dreams and a sense of humor. That’s what will endear you to them and make them feel a part of your brand. So don’t make your branding strategy all about professionalism and business. Develop a brand voice and personality, and show your customers who you really are.
- Constantly communicate. Many companies think they need to constantly drive their brand down customers’ throats in order to be effective. In reality, some of the best, most well-known brands don’t do any sort of communicating at all. How often do you see a Google commercial? Are you always getting email newsletters from them or text message promotions? Definitely not. Great branding is more about communicating creatively, effectively and in a way that resonates with your customers. As not all customers are the same, the amount of communication you really need varies depending on your audience. So study them, listen and find the right way to reach your unique customers.
- Always provide information. Not every branding effort needs to talk about your products, your services or your benefits. It doesn’t even have to be about your industry or company. Really great branding delivers customers a lifestyle – something they can get behind philosophically and on a day-to-day basis. As such, some of your branding efforts should be aimed at developing this lifestyle – making your customers happy, giving them something to laugh about, or just putting a smile on their face for the day. Maybe that means posting a funny meme on your Facebook, instead of another promo for your upcoming sale. Maybe it means uploading a behind-the-scenes video of your staff having fun at work. Remember, customers want a brand they can feel a part of, so invest time and resources in providing that.
Rules are just a starting point. If you really want to break the mold and stand out as an organization, breaking those rules is sometimes (and often) a necessity. Want your brand to make a splash? Contact Haley Brand Intelligence today.