If you think getting a new logo is something you’re supposed to do because your competition is doing it, save your money. Getting a new logo doesn’t mark branding off on your business “To – Dos.’
The goal of branding is two-fold: Build trust. Be remembered.
“Trust is the ultimate shortcut to a buying decision, and the bedrock of modern branding.” Marty Neumeier, The Brand Gap
Continuity builds trust.
A great brand story connects your organization today with its roots – building on your organization’s history. Most often, every organization’s differentiating value is found in its beginnings–it’s the element which initially brought success. As businesses grow, leadership often loses touch with it and in an effort to play it safe, or add new streams of revenue, they let the company slip into the bland brand abyss.
It’s an exciting part of our work at Identity Creative to see people get energized when they reconnect with the motivations and values that are part of the origins of their company. It makes an impact on your employees and customers today and clarifies the vision for the future.
Consistency builds trust.
What are you telling people about your product or service? Does your company deliver on it consistently? How do you measure delivering your unique benefit consistently? Start with your brand promise. See more about creating one on page See more about creating one LINK POST HERE ___ (Make your message stick) Consistent quality of design and presentation is immeasurably important as well. Big name brands guard their brand identity standards with great diligence. Design is a subliminal message that builds credibility: most people won’t notice consistency, but they will pick up that something is amiss when your logo is stretched and there is not continuity in your marketing. Maintaining consistent, professional design is a no-brainer.
Authenticity builds trust.
Beliefs create values.
Values drive behavior.
Behavior shapes culture.
People experience the beliefs, values, behavior, and culture of your brand. By identifying core values and living them in your business, you create an authentic culture that people can trust. Living by your stated values is a pillar of a strong brand. Core value statements should be unique, authentic and portable (easily shared). Our Core Value Excavator Survey is a free tool we use as part of the discovery process to help circle-in on the unique values which drive decisions and behaviors in your organization. Access the tool here.
Different is memorable.
Your key differentiator is what separates you from the rest. What innovations and improvements, new products, meaning, or ways you enhance service to the customer can you highlight? If you don’t think you have any, then find something you can successfully and consistently build upon that cannot be easily copied by your competitors.
“A brand is a singular idea or concept that you own inside the mind of a prospect.”
– Al Ries, Positioning: The Battle for Your Mind
Focus is memorable.
Be clear about what you do and resist the fierce temptation to be most things to most people. A generalist suffers in today’s market where the niche is remembered. A clear message will resonate with your ideal customers.
“The best thing you can do right now is to take a close look at every aspect of your business, your products, and your services, and determine at least one area where you have the potential for recognition and market dominance. Focus on that with every ounce of your social power.”
– Jeffrey Gitomer
Connection is memorable.
Think values—your market’s values. Of course, every sales leader understands this, though it’s easy to overlook when planning a rebranding launch. With every customer interaction, the effort has to be delivering on what they value. Your rebranding launch is the ideal time to make sure your message is on target. Connect your rebranding to something they care about. Do this, and you’ve made an emotional connection. That’s the most powerful connection.
Misaligned and disappointed customer expectations can be the downfall of a company. A smart brand promise, consistently met, sets a company on a path to stellar success.
What is Your Brand Promise?
Everyone talks about keeping the customer front and center. Yet in every business, it’s so easy for that objective to get blurred. While KPIs for customer satisfaction can be set and measured, a brand promise is a simple way for everyone in your organization to establish clear expectations for customers and keep the goal of customer satisfaction at the forefront.
Building an Enduring Brand Promise
Is your brand promise measurable? Keep it simple. You should be able to ask every customer, “Did we keep this promise to you?”
Make your brand promise clear and specific enough to mean something, but broad enough to reinforce your mission. It should also have room to be agile. Technology and a global economy mean that any industry or market is subject to disruption and you want your brand promise to remain relevant.
A PROMISE WORTH KEEPING
Once you’ve identified your key differentiator, build a brand promise around it. Consistently deliver on your unique brand promise and you’ll win customer trust and loyalty.
The leadership team of Executive Wealth Management wanted to update their brand identity to reflect their growth and vision that embraces technology and is committed to compassionate growth for every client.
Identity Creative worked with EWM’s rebranding team to identify the key difference that EWM brings to their clients. It didn’t take long to uncover the depth of commitment the leadership has to the value of the relationships with their clients and to deliver on their foundational investment philosophy of defensive growth.
It’s unusual for a firm of their size to establish an independent, registered investment advisor (RIA), Fortunatus Investments. Fortunatus provides investment solutions and proactively partners with EWM advisors by guarding the downside and advancing when the market is favorable. EWM advisors work to elevate every client’s investment experience.
Their new slogan, Build. Defend. Advance. captures their investment philosophy, the unique value they bring, and their commitment to building relationships that are defended by a trust as fiduciaries, and advanced with compassion.
Executive Wealth Management has offices in Northville, Jackson, Ludington, and is headquartered in Brighton, Michigan. To learn more about the team and how their defensive growth process and professional client service, visit their website (their new site is being developed) ewmadvisors.com.
What happens when your business is involved in philanthropic giving? Here’s our top seven:
1. Brighter Future
There is an opportunity in every community to help someone in need, and businesses with a social conscience want to use their talents to help lift others to an improved quality of life and new hope for the future.
2. Strengthening Connection
Through inspiring experiences, leaders and employees of your company will feel connected to people in-and-outside of your business in a refreshingly new way.
3. Intrinsic Rewards
The gift we receive for helping–especially doing something for someone without expecting something in return–can’t be purchased, and it’s never lost.
4. Living Values
Working together on a goal that is a more-than-just-business strengthens many of the core values companies are working to build in their culture.
When employees of different companies work together, an opportunity is created to spark fresh insights in areas of leadership, project management, teamwork, and communication, communication, and innovation.
6. Renewed Hope
There’s plenty of sadness and trouble in our world. Meeting amazing people who are solving problems and lifting people from despair into hope, is enough to make your heart lighter and hope brighter.
7. Brand Soul
Providing opportunities for your employees to volunteer reveals the heart of your company. Being involved in the community connects people–people that may, or may not, refer business to you. Yet, your company’s commitment to philanthropic work creates a positive impression of your brand while helping build a better world.
What are some of the ways your business has benefitted through giving? Where is your favorite place to give? Let us know in the comments below!
Looking for a way to help your team give? Opportunity is not far off! There are so many organizations doing good in your community, just ask around. Impact100 Metro Detroit TV has interviewed some amazing nonprofits in the Metro Detroit area doing great behind-the-scenes work. Watch a few shows and pick one to support!
This past month, ICR celebrated 25 years of bringing excellence automation! Identity Creative rebranded ICR in 2012 with their new trademark and slogan: Partners in Productivity. We’re honored to work with the ICR team and enjoyed meeting employees and partners and seeing the rebuilt robots in action. ICR is bringing excellence to automation globally, with their roots in the Motor City. Happy 25th Anniversary, ICR!
Watch the video interview we created for ICR with Adam Genei below. Happy 25th Anniversary, ICR!
ICR began in 1992 when President, Paul Gutierrez made a decision to remain in Metro Detroit rather than overs. The company for which he worked, Square D, was a major contributor of resistance welding in Metro Detroit. However, they combined their production in Raleigh, North Carolina and offered the position to Paul Gutierrez. Not wanting to leave the Detroit area, he introduced the idea to repair and rebuild the obsolete welders. From that, ICR was born and their robotics have been built a strong presence in Detroit, and is growing globally with locations in Canada, Africa, and Mexico. (See their timeline below) Among their satisfied customers are Mobsteel (featured in Detroit Steel on the History Channel), Atlas Copco, Dengesha America, GTI Spindle, and Threadcraft.
ICR has committed employees and is a forward-thinking company. We’re honored to work with the ICR team and enjoyed meeting employees and partners, and seeing the rebuilt robots in action. ICR is bringing excellence to automation globally, with their roots in the Motor City.
Which business email address gives a
more professional and credible impression?
You’ve seen business cards with email addresses like firstname.lastname@example.org…or yahoo, aol, or hotmail email addresses, yes?
Why is this bad for your brand? Because good branding differentiates your business and builds credibility. Generic email addresses do exactly the opposite. We run into independent business owners who don’t recognize the damage they’re doing to their credibility with a generic business email. It’s not acceptable, especially when it’s SO EASY to have a professional email.
When someone asks us to design a business card and gives us a generic email address, we put our designer-foot down and strongly urge them not to use any-thing-other-than-your-own-custom-URL email address. Sound harsh? Friends who care will tell you the truth. We want you to stand out as a credible business and we’re willing to tell you the harsh reality because we care. Your business card is an opportunity to build trust with a credible brand presentation.
Marty Neumeier, in The Brand Gap, makes it clear, “Trust is the greatest shortcut to a buying decision, and the bedrock of modern branding.”
It’s SO EASY to purchase a custom domain name and set up an email for your business. Do you have a website? If so, contact your web company and ask them to walk you through setting up your custom email. If not, here are three easy steps.
It’s that easy. Now, you’re really in business!