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Brand Identity Guidelines

Aug 18, 2007
Developing a strong brand identity is the most important thing any company can do to develop its brand. It cannot get any simpler than that. Most organizations fail miserably at this very basic task though. Brand identity is how you want your company or products to be perceived. If you get this wrong it could lead to big time problems later in your brand image. So how does a company build its brand identity?

Start with performing some branding research. When was the last time you went out to customers, prospects and past clients and asked them what they thought of your industry? Do you really know what clients desires are? What about what they do not want? Do you know where they go first to find a company like yours? Are they going to the internet and doing searches or finding you in a trade publication?

Now you need to perform that same research internally with key employees. What do they think? How do they perceive the company? Is this in line with what you want your brand identity to be? Do you even have a clear identity? Do your employees know your brand promise? Is there a brand promise? Do you have a value proposition? Do they know what it is? If you have answered no to any of these questions you will need help!

Okay, so your research is done and you know what you want your identity to be. What do you do next? We recommend establishing a new positioning with that identity. If Volvo the automobile equals safety and Apple computer equals creativity what do you want to equal? It should be very clear and easy.

What are the next steps? Start with developing strategies and tactics that will leverage that new brand identity and positioning. They should all tie back to corporate objectives. Avoid wasting money on reactive marketing that gets you know where and wastes your marketing budget. Some of the tactics may include search engine optimization, direct mail, advertising, banner ads, e-newsletters, e-mail marketing, trade shows and much more.

It is imperative to choose the tactics that will benefit you the most. Do not waste money on advertising if you are only going to place two ads for the year. It will not work. Instead invest in tactics that will give you more bang for your buck like search engine optimization (SEO). SEO is a great way to build brand identity and increase sales.
About the Author
Scott White is President of Brand Identity Guru a leading brand identity company and market research firm located in Boston, Massachusetts. As a branding agency we specialize in strategy and creative.
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