Perception is Reality in Branding
Chances are you’ve heard the saying:
“Perception is Reality”. In Branding This is Absolutely True.
What people think of you will impact their response to your brand. The brand of your company, organization, association and the brand of you.
Brand Perception is Formed in An Instant
If you have attended any of my seminars, workshops, lectures, or viewed my videos, chances are you’ve heard me remind you that behind every purchase decision is a human. That person will form an opinion in an instant and then use everything they see, feel, read or hear after that first exposure to your brand to confirm or discredit that opinion. So, in the digital landscape, where information moves faster every day, your brand must clearly capture the the hearts and minds of your customers, or they will move on to the next best thing.
Whether you are promoting yourself, a company, product, service, organization, event or idea, your brand enables others to form an attachment and tell others about you which helps you promote awareness, loyalty and grow market share.
First Impressions Count
I have just completed judging for the 2012 Internet Advertising Awards held by the Web Marketing Association, which I look forward to every year. Each entry presented their campaign, hoping to earn a score high enough to win an internet marketing award. I can’t reveal details of the campaigns submitted by brands and agencies from around the world. However, I can tell you that the most memorable campaigns were those that brought their brand to life, told a story and engaged the audience.
What Does Your Brand Say About You?
Your brand will forever represent how a person perceives you. Once they define an opinion about your brand, that opinion will be regenerated every time they see your logo, hear the name of your brand, use your product or service, or discuss it with others.
Take a look at your brand. Not just your logo, but your overall presence. Your brand is created by the audio, visual, textual consumption of what you project to the world. Do they convey how you want to be perceived?
If your brand is about promoting a mission with a flair for fun, then show it.
St. Baldrick’s Foundation, a not-for-profit I am currently volunteering my services to support, does a wonderful job of projecting their brand.
The leprechaun conveys the goodwill generated through fundraising events where volunteers shave their heads bald to show solidarity with children with cancer and to raise money for childhood cancer. Their brand is consistently executed on their website, in media releases and throughout every step of the fundraising and event process through pre-prepared templates. To view how this not for profit manages their brand and to learn more about this worthy cause, visit stbaldricks.com.
Live and Breathe Your Brand
Your brand should be part of every interaction with the outside world.
From your website to your email signature and everything in between, your logo, message and communications should be consistent in tone and tenor.
Everything you say or do will either add to, or detract from your brand, so be sure to take full opportunity to reinforce your brand whenever you are given the chance.
Times Change, So Should Your Brand
Some of the most sustainable brands in the world have evolved over time. Brands like Sears, McDonalds, Jeep, VW and Starbucks have gone through a series of updates to reflect their value proposition in the competitive marketplace. Some brands are like chameleons. For example, Google continuously adapts their brand by posting “Doodle’s” on their search landing page Google.com to highlight holidays, historical figures, celebrities, landmarks and other brands.
When was the last time you evaluated the relevance of your brand? Could it be time to give it a face-lift? Before you decide, as your customers, or place a test…a positive response will help you justify a change, if needed.
Tips for Promoting Your Brand
- Be consistent, use your brand image and message throughout all mediums; website, social media profiles and updates, marketing collateral, advertisements, event signage, presentations, editorials, emails, etc.
- Evaluate your brand from time to time to insure it reflects your value proposition as well as it did when it was created.
- Make your representatives brand champions – arm them with brand guidelines to perpetuate your brand in every interaction with past, current and future customers.
Go forth and brand!
Need help with your brand? Contact me