Your Brand Makes All the Difference
We communicate a message in everything we do—and it's especially true when we use the term "brand." All the time, we discuss the brands we prefer and the brands that we do not. Why? Because brands stand out in our minds. Think about our instant recognition of Nike's "Just Do It" or Apple's "There's an APP for that" campaign. These messages are effective in connecting customers with the brand. The goal is to make such a brand experience personal in nature. For example, are you a Coke or Pepsi person? Mac or PC? You get the idea.
How to best explain a brand? You can say it is the sum total of key ideas, emotions and perceptions that are communicated to your audience and associated with your organization's work. When your stakeholders reflect upon their experiences with your organization, the brand is the "shorthand" way of summing up those characteristics and feelings.
To help simplify this subject, I have developed a revised acronym: A BRAND can be considered the Baseline of one's Reputation, Attributes, Name and Distinctiveness. Reputation is all your organization stands for; attributes are the characteristics others use when describing you; your name suggests something (good, bad or indifferent) when a person hears it; and your distinctiveness answers the question, "Why you? What makes you different or unique?"
All individuals and organizations have a brand. So, what do we do with our brand? In short, our brand is not defined by what we say it is, but is characterized by what others say it is. To that end, successful organizations work hard to develop their brands through effective communications. Always remember that building a strong, recognizable, reliable and consistent brand takes time, effort and commitment. Simply said, it requires a deliberate, purposeful and intentional strategy.
Ryan T. Sauers has spent 25 years leading and/or consulting with printing, graphics, promotional and visual communications related organizations. Ryan is President of the independent consulting firm, Sauers Consulting Strategies, founded in 2010.
Key areas of focus of the firm include: sales training, marketing strategy, personal branding, leadership development and organizational change.
Sauers is a frequent national speaker and columnist. He has been recognized as one of the top 80 CMOs in the world and achieved the top designation of Certified Marketing Executive through Sales and Marketing Executives International.
Sauers is an adjunct university professor teaching leadership and communication courses to current and aspiring leaders. He is a Certified Myers Briggs, DiSC and Emotional Intelligence Practitioner (one of few in US to achieve all 3 rigorous certifications related to human communications, personality & behavior).
Sauers is working on his Doctoral degree in Organizational Leadership and hosts a radio show in Atlanta (Marketing Matters). He is author of the best-selling books Everyone is in Sales and Would You Buy from You? More info at: RyanSauers.com