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Corporate Branding – 5 Steps to Success

A brand is more than a logo, an advertising campaign or a tagline. If built correctly, a corporate brand can give you a competitive edge against your competitors and become your greatest differentiator. It represents both an emotional and rational connection to your stakeholders and the customers that ultimately decide to engage with you and purchase your products.

Building a brand is not a one-time thing that you do and get over with. A brand represents the company’s reputation and just like a personal reputation, your company will need to prove itself again and again before people trust and become loyal to it.

While each brand is unique, all successful companies use a similar path when building their brands.

  • Define the brand

It sounds quite simplistic, but it is very important that business owners define their brand fully. The process of brand definition involves four stages:

Identify – Get to the heart of your company’s purpose. What does your business sell? What makes your company’s products or services better than those offered by competitors?

Define – Create a mission statement that condenses your company’s essence into a single sentence. This can also become your company’s slogan.

Empower – Communicate this information to customers and staff through social media, direct advertising, internal memos and other suitable outlets.

Asses – Solicit feedback from customers and colleagues to determine whether your brand’s identity is a reflection of reality.

  • Build a solid brand platform

This is the foundation that informs and directs every aspect of your business. It should include a clear vision statement that outlines the aspirational view of the impact your company wants to make on the world. A purpose statement that explains how the vision will be delivered should also be included.

With the two foundational elements in place, outline clearly the personality traits of the brand that will guide the development of products.

  • Communicate

Bring your corporate brand to the masses through well-planned and executed marketing activities. Make sure that the overall message remains consistent at all times, clear and relevant to the audience you are targeting. Your messages should be easy to comprehend, concise, and delivered in a way that reflects your brand’s personality.

Aim to create an emotional connection with your audience. Use things that evoke appropriate emotions such as colours and music to improve brand effectiveness.

  • Measure the brand performance

Keep a brand scorecard that will help you keep track of the brand equity and progression to know whether strategies are working or not. Ask for regular stakeholder and customer feedback to find out whether the brand is living up to customer expectation.

  • Improve continuously

The business landscape changes almost every day in all industries. The corporate branding strategy should, therefore, be adjusted regularly to suit the prevailing conditions. The brand should be kept relevant, differentiated and consistent at all times. Core elements such as identity, personality, vision and values should be changed as little as possible as this would change the essence of the brand.

To succeed, every company needs to develop a corporate brand that defines who they are and helps them stand out from the pack. Your corporate brand should be developed and protected with the same tenacity accorded to other important assets as it is crucial in determining your business’ fortunes.

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