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How to Build a Consistent Brand

How to Build a Consistent Brand

You may have heard that branding is the key to long-term business success.[1] This is true; however, it is also extremely important that a brand is always consistent. Consistent branding generates trust and increases consumer loyalty. It also ensures that your brand and value propositions are always recognizable. Businesses are just like people, consistency creates confidence.

Since consistent branding is so important, companies should spend significant time planning and shaping their brand. Your brand is how you want people to see and perceive your company. Do you want them to think you are innovative, dynamic, solid, dependable, or classy? These are all qualities that you will try to consistently represent with your brand.

So how do you achieve this? These are the steps that should be taken to build a consistent brand.

Pinpoint Your Customers

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    The first step is to find out who you want to communicate to. For example, if your business is a weight loss pill for middle-aged women, you are not targeting male college students. This is important to know because the message that you will want to send to middle-aged women will be a lot different than the message you might want to send to college-aged men. So you must do some market research to identify who your demographic really is. It is extremely hard to operate a business that targets everyone.[2] When you know who you are talking to, you will be better positioned to create a consistent tone, message, look, and voice that appeals to your audience. When this is consistent, people will always know what to expect and you will be easily recognizable and highly memorable.

    Be Clear On The Mission Of Your Brand

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      After pinpointing your customers, you want to make sure that you are clear on the mission of your brand. This requires you to look inward at your organization and identify what it is that you really want to do. This will increase the appeal that you have with your potential customers. It will also shape how you want people to view your brand.

      What perception should people have of you based on your mission? For example, if your mission is to help middle-aged women lose weight, you don’t want to create a brand that makes people perceive you as uncaring. You want to create a brand that communicates your mission to the world. You might communicate that dealing with a changing body as you get older can be difficult, but your company is here to help. If you can consistently reinforce this message you will attract more customers and start to live the mission of your brand every day.

      Create Your Visuals

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        The way that your brand is presented to the world is extremely important. People connect to visuals faster than words. This means that no detail can be overlooked. People will associate these visuals with your brand and make determinations about what they think about your business before they even experience your products or services.

        There are a few things that you want to take into consideration including:

        • Your Logo: This seems easy, but can actually be extremely difficult. Once a logo is established, it is very difficult and unwise to change it. Due to this, you really need to get it right from the start. There are many approaches you can take, including abstract designs, words, shapes, graphics, and much more. Remember that your logo will represent your brand on all collateral that the public sees in a consistent manner. Make sure it is something that you are completely happy with.
        • Company Colors: The color of your company sends a powerful message to your customers. Every color communicates something different. So make sure that you are using the colors that send the message about what you want your brand to project. Then use these colors consistently on all of your materials, including advertisements, flyers, mail, stationary, and your website.
        • Links: In the age of the internet and social media, the links that you will be sharing with the world cannot be overlooked. Many companies use shortened links in order to more easily share links over multiple platforms. This is a good strategy, but it looks bad visually and not very good for branding. Fortunately, companies now have the ability to create their own branded links. These links provide a better visual and help to consistently brand your company even when you are just posting and sharing on social media. This infographic by Clkim tells more about why & how branded short links work.[3]

          Infographic Courtesy

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          Identify Your Tone

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            The tone of your brand is important. However, it must be specific and consistent. Do you want to be funny, ironic, conversational, polished, professional, casual, visionary, or cutting edge? There are an unlimited number of tones you can choose from but the most important things to consider are to make sure that your tone aligns with your audience and is consistent in all of your communications. Try to make your tone different, unique, and memorable. For example, many years ago there was an internet marketing expert known as the Rich Jerk. He sold internet marketing courses and he had a very specific tone, he was a jerk. He was always bragging about how rich he was and claiming that everyone else was probably too stupid or lazy to be as rich as he was. It was highly memorable and turned out to be a great tone for getting people to buy what he was selling. You might not want to go that far with your tone, but it is a great example of what is possible when you project a consistent voice through your writing and communication.

            Conclusion

            If you follow the steps outlined above, you will be well on your way to creating an appropriate, memorable, and consistent brand. The benefits of this can be astounding. Consistent branding is one of the main keys to a successful business, right behind having a quality and in demand product or service. Just remember, you do not need to recreate the wheel. Follow the steps in this article and start building the brand and reputation that your business deserves.

            Featured photo credit: pressfoto via freepik.com

            Reference

            [1] http://www.inc.com/samuel-edwards/why-business-personalization-is-the-key-to-long-term-success.html
            [2] https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/240163
            [3] http://blog.clkim.com/2016/12/next-evolution-shortened-links-branded-links/

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            Last Updated on December 10, 2019

            7 Strategies to Keep Employee Motivation High

            7 Strategies to Keep Employee Motivation High

            Highly motivated employees are essential to the success of any business. Most people spend a third of their lives at work.[1] That’s a significant amount of time away from home, apart from the people who make us happy and the things we love to do. So keeping employee motivation high is essential for creating an office environment that gets the best out of our people.

            But do you know what motivates your people?

            It’s simple:

            • Is their work stimulating?
            • Does it challenge them?
            • Is there room to grow, a promotion perhaps?
            • Do you encourage creativity?
            • Can they speak openly and honestly with you?
            • Do you praise them?
            • Do you trust your staff to take ownership of their work?
            • Do they feel safe in their work environment?
            • And more importantly, do you pay them properly?

            Every one of these factors contributes to the general happiness of your employees. It’s what motivates them to come into the office each day and work hard, hit goals, and get results.

            In contrast, an unmotivated employee is typically unhappy. They take more sick days, they’re not invested in seeing your business succeed, and they’re always on the lookout for something better.

            Stats show that 81 percent of employees would consider leaving their jobs today if the right opportunity presented itself.[2] So it’s up to you to set aside time and energy to create a work environment that benefits every one of your employees.

            These seven strategies will help you motivate your people to consistently deliver quality work and, more importantly, to stick around for the long term.

            1. Be Someone They Can Rely On

            You rely on your people to turn up to work each day, to come to you when they have a problem they can’t solve, to be honest, and to always engage professionally with customers.

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            But this is not a one-way street. You, too, need to be someone your team can rely on. They trust you to have their backs when a client is unreasonable, to know that the decisions they make are in your best interest, and to make good on your promises.

            If you say you’ll attend an important meeting, be there. If your company makes a profit and you’ve said you’ll pay a bonus, pay it. The goodwill of your people is something you never want to test, let alone lose.

            Be reliable; it’s astounding how much this motivates your people.

            2. Create an Awesome Company Culture

            There’s no denying that company culture trickles down from the top. Your leadership and attitude massively influences the attitudes, work ethic, and happiness of your staff. If you’re always stressed-out, overly demanding, and unreasonable, it’ll create tension in your office which will adversely affect your employees’ motivation levels.

            In fact, the HAYS “US What People Want Survey” found that 47 percent of staff who are actively looking for a new job, pinpoint company culture as the driving force behind their reason to leave.

            So if you have high staff turnover, you need to determine whether your company culture might be the motivating factor behind your churn rate.

            Here are four ways to build a culture that keeps your employees highly motivated.

            • Be conscious of the image you present. Your body language and attitude can positively or negatively impact your employees. So come to work energized. Be optimistic, friendly, and engaging—this enthusiasm will spill over to your people and motivate them to be more productive and efficient.
            • Appreciate your people and be reasonable. Celebrate your team’s achievements. If they’re doing a good job, tell them. Encourage them to challenge themselves and try new things. And reward when deserved. If they’re struggling, help them. Work together to find solutions and be a sounding board for their ideas.
            • Be flexible. Give your people opportunities to work remotely—this is highly motivating to staff, particularly millennials. They don’t want to be battling traffic each day on their way to work. They don’t want to miss their kids’ baseball games or ballet rehearsals. Stats show that companies that offer flextime and the ability to work from home or a coffee shop have happier and more productive employees.
            • Create employee-friendly work environments. These are spaces that inspire and ignite the imagination. Have you ever been to Google’s offices? No headquarter is the same. From indoor slides and food trucks, to hammocks, and funky work pods on the wall, gaming rooms, and tranquil interior gardens, there’s something for everyone. It’s a space where people want to be, catering to their need for creativity, quiet, or team building; you name it.

            So take a look at your company culture and ask yourself, Is my business an attractive workplace for talented professionals? Does it inspire commitment and motivate my people? What could I do to improve my company culture?

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            3. Touch Base with Your Team Weekly

            Make time for your people, whether you run a remote business or work in an office, set aside time each week to talk to your people one-on-one. It’s non-negotiable.

            When there’s an open line of communication between staff members, work gets done. Don’t believe me? A study by Gallup found that 26 percent of employees said feedback from their leaders helps them to do a better job.[3]

            Your people want to feel trusted. They want to take ownership of their work, but they also need to know that when they have a question, they can reach out and get answers. If you’re unwilling to make yourself available, your team will quickly become unmotivated, work will stagnate, and your business will stop growing.

            So block off time on your calendar each week to touch base with your people, even if only to let them know that what they’re working on matters.

            4. Give Them the Tools They Need to Do Their Jobs Well

            Imagine trying to run your business without electricity. How would you contact your clients? What would happen when your phone or computer battery died?

            Technology is super critical to the success of your businesses. It allows you to work more efficiently, to be more productive, and to handle matters on-the-go. That’s why you need to give your people tools that will make their jobs easier.

            Make sure their equipment is in good working condition. There’s nothing more frustrating than a laptop that takes ages to boot up. It’s got to go. Replace outdated software with new software. Don’t make your designer work in Coreldraw; give them access to the most up-to-date version of Adobe Creative Suite. Take it a step further and buy them a subscription to Shutterstock or Getty Images.

            Make working for you a pleasure, not a pain; and watch your employees’ motivation levels rise.

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            5. Provide Opportunities to Learn and Upskill

            Would you believe me if I told you that 33 percent of people cite boredom and a need for new challenges as the top reason for leaving their job?[4] If you want to retain your talent, you need to upskill.

            Thanks to technology, we live in a rapidly evolving world that demands we change with it. A copywriter is no longer just a writer; they now need to be experts in SEO, Google Adwords, CRMs, and so much more.

            A pastry chef needs to be a food stylist, photographer, and social media manager. An entrepreneur needs to be a marketer—or at least take ownership of the marketing message for their business—if they hope to scale.

            Technology makes all of this possible. No matter your location, your people can continuously expand their knowledge and gain new skill sets—something that’s highly motivating to employees. They want to know that there are opportunities to grow and develop themselves.

            If you won’t invest in your people, then your business becomes just another job to tide them over until they find where they truly belong. So be the company that sees value in developing its people.

            6. Monitor Their Workload

            Overworked employees tend to be unproductive and unhappy. Your people cannot be at full capacity every day, month to month. Something’s got to give. They’ll become deflated and their work will eventually suffer, which will negatively impact your business.

            What I like to do is implement a traffic light system. It helps me to keep a finger on the pulse of my business. So there’s red, yellow, and green:

            • Red means they’re fully loaded.
            • Yellow means they’re busy, but they can potentially take on more.
            • Green means they haven’t got enough to do.

            I use this traffic light system because I don’t want my team members to be stressed out of their brains all the time. If they are, they won’t make good decisions and they won’t do good work.

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            If my people are regularly overloaded, I have things to think about. Perhaps I need to hire a new person to help ease the load or take a closer look at what projects are good to go, and which can take a back seat.

            And this is why #3 is essential. If I’m regularly engaging with my people, I’ll know that while they’re coping with their workload, it is impacting their performance and health, and I’ll take action.

            7. Don’t Mess Around with Your Employees’ Pay

            Never mess around with your people’s salary. As a business owner or high-level manager, it’s easy to forget that most people live from paycheck to paycheck. Delayed compensation can mean a missed bill payment, which could result in costly penalties they can’t afford or hits to their credit score.

            So it’s your job to ensure that you pay your people on time.

            The Bottom Line

            A motivated team is an asset to any business. These people never give up. They get excited about coming to work each day and can’t wait to test a new theory or tackle a particularly tricky challenge. They’re proud of the work they do. And more importantly, they have no reason to leave.

            Wouldn’t you rather be part of their success story than the business that drove them away?

            More to Motivate Your Team

            Featured photo credit: Emma Dau via unsplash.com

            Reference

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