It is important to always view your brand as much more than a logo. It is also be very useful to think about what your brand is NOT.
Consider if you owned a chain of “pour-over” coffee shops in the Bay Area. Patrons come in, purchase your products and either consume them fairly quickly, or take them to go. Yet your business is not “fast food.” You are also not “just” a coffee seller. Nor are you simply the place where all the hipsters hang out (or maybe you are).
While it is critical to define what your brand stands for, it’s just as important to understand how customers think of you. Remember the old communications 101 warning against confusing the intent of your communication with how it is actually perceived?
Here are some ways to keep your brand moving in the right direction:
Walk Your Customer’s Journey: Map out how your customers interact with your brand. Where on this journey might they risk interpreting it incorrectly?
Listen To Your Customers-the good, the bad, and the ugly: Fair or not fair, understand what your business profile looks like in the public space. What are customers (and employees) saying on review sites? Do you notice trends? Are there complaints? Is there a chance those complaints are valid? If you don’t take action, your customers (and employees) will, some by walking straight to the competition.
Never Be Satisfied: Like most processes in businesses, you need to revisit them over and over again. Brand is no different. Revisit how your brand is perceived along with your intent. Make it a continuous process to ensure your brand stays relevant and does not turn into something you may not recognize.
So there’s your map, let’s start the journey: drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org