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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 August 16, 2018

            10 Huge Differences Between A Boss And A Leader

            10 Huge Differences Between A Boss And A Leader

            When you try to think of a leader at your place of work, you might think of your boss – you know, the supervisor in the tasteful office down the hall.

            However, bosses are not the only leaders in the office, and not every boss has mastered the art of excellent leadership. Maybe the best leader you know is the co-worker sitting at the desk next to yours who is always willing to loan out her stapler and help you problem solve.

            You see, a boss’ main priority is to efficiently cross items off of the corporate to-do list, while a true leader both completes tasks and works to empower and motivate the people he or she interacts with on a daily basis.

            A leader is someone who works to improve things instead of focusing on the negatives. People acknowledge the authority of a boss, but people cherish a true leader.

            Puzzled about what it takes to be a great leader? Let’s take a look at the difference between a boss and a leader, and why cultivating quality leadership skills is essential for people who really want to make a positive impact.

            1. Leaders are compassionate human beings; bosses are cold.

            It can be easy to equate professionalism with robot-like impersonal behavior. Many bosses stay holed up in their offices and barely ever interact with staff.

            Even if your schedule is packed, you should always make time to reach out to the people around you. Remember that when you ask someone to share how they are feeling, you should be prepared to be vulnerable and open in your communication as well.

            Does acting human at the office sound silly? It’s not.

            A lack of compassion in the office leads to psychological turmoil, whereas positive connection leads to healthier staff.[1]

            If people feel that you are being open, honest and compassionate with them, they will feel able to approach your office with what is on their minds, leading to a more productive and stress-free work environment.

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            2. Leaders say “we”; bosses say “I”.

            Practice developing a team-first mentality when thinking and speaking. In meetings, talk about trying to meet deadlines as a team instead of using accusatory “you” phrases. This makes it clear that you are a part of the team, too, and that you are willing to work hard and support your team members.

            Let me explain:

            A “we” mentality shifts the office dynamic from “trying to make the boss happy” to a spirit of teamwork, goal-setting, and accomplishment.

            A “we” mentality allows for the accountability and community that is essential in the modern day workplace.

            3. Leaders develop and invest in people; bosses use people.

            Unfortunately, many office climates involve people using others to get what they want or to climb the corporate ladder. This is another example of the “me first” mentality that is so toxic in both office environments and personal relationships.

            Instead of using others or focusing on your needs, think about how you can help other people grow.

            Use your building blocks of compassion and team-mentality to stay attuned to the needs of others note the areas in which you can help them develop. A great leader wants to see his or her people flourish.

            Make a list of ways you can invest in your team members to help them develop personally and professionally, and then take action!

            4. Leaders respect people; bosses are fear-mongering.

            Earning respect from everyone on your team will take time and commitment, but the rewards are worth every ounce of effort.

            A boss who is a poor leader may try to control the office through fear and bully-like behavior. Employees who are petrified about their performance or who feel overwhelmed and stressed by unfair deadlines are probably working for a boss who uses a fear system instead of a respect system.

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            What’s the bottom line?

            Work to build respect among your team by treating everyone with fairness and kindness. Maintain a positive tone and stay reliable for those who approach you for help.

            5. Leaders give credit where it’s due; bosses only take credits.

            Looking for specific ways to gain respect from your colleagues and employees? There is no better place to start than with the simple act of giving credit where it is due.

            Don’t be tempted to take credit for things you didn’t do, and always go above and beyond to generously acknowledge those who worked on a project and performed well.

            You might be wondering how you can get started:

            • Begin by simply noticing which team member contributes what during your next project at work.
            • If possible, make mental notes. Remember that these notes should not be about ways in which team members are failing, but about ways in which they are excelling.
            • Depending on your leadership style, let people know how well they are doing either in private one-on-one meetings or in a group setting. Be honest and generous in your communication about a person’s performance.

            6. Leaders see delegation as their best friend; bosses see it as an enemy.

            If delegation is a leader’s best friend, then micromanagement is the enemy.

            Delegation equates to trust and micromanagement equates to distrust. Nothing is more frustrating for an employee than feeling that his or her every movement is being critically observed.

            Encourage trust in your office by delegating important tasks and acknowledging that your people are capable, smart individuals who can succeed!

            Delegation is a great way to cash in on the positive benefits of a psychological phenomenon called a self-fulfilling prophecy. In a self-fulfilling prophecy, a person’s expectations of another person can cause the expectations to be fulfilled.[2]

            In other words, if you truly believe that your team member can handle a project or task, he or she is more likely to deliver.

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            Learn how to delegate in my other article:

            How to Delegate Work (the Definitive Guide for Successful Leaders)

            7. Leaders work hard; bosses let others do the work.

            Delegation is not an excuse to get out of hard work. Instead of telling people to go accomplish the hardest work alone, make it clear that you are willing to pitch in and help with the hardest work of all when the need arises.

            Here’s the deal:

            Showing others that you work hard sets the tone for your whole team and will spur them on to greatness.

            The next time you catch yourself telling someone to “go”, a.k.a accomplish a difficult task alone, change your phrasing to “let’s go”, showing that you are totally willing to help and support.

            8. Leaders think long-term; bosses think short-term.

            A leader who only utilizes short-term thinking is someone who cannot be prepared or organized for the future. Your colleagues or staff members need to know that they can trust you to have a handle on things not just this week, but next month or even next year.

            Display your long-term thinking skills in group talks and meetings by sharing long-term hopes or concerns. Create plans for possible scenarios and be prepared for emergencies.

            For example, if you know that you are losing someone on your team in a few months, be prepared to share a clear plan of how you and the remaining team members can best handle the change and workload until someone new is hired.

            9. Leaders are like your colleagues; bosses are just bosses.

            Another word for colleague is collaborator. Make sure your team knows that you are “one of them” and that you want to collaborate or work side by side.

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            Not getting involved in the going ons of the office is a mistake because you will miss out on development and connection opportunities.

            As our regular readers know, I love to remind people of the importance of building routines into each day. Create a routine that encourages you to leave your isolated office and collaborate with others. Spark healthy habits that benefit both you and your co-workers.

            10. Leaders put people first; bosses put results first.

            Bosses without crucial leadership training may focus on process and results instead of people. They may stick to a pre-set systems playbook even when employees voice new ideas or concerns.

            Ignoring people’s opinions for the sake of company tradition like this is never truly beneficial to an organization.

            Here’s what I mean by process over people:

            Some organizations focus on proper structures or systems as their greatest assets instead of people. I believe that people lend real value to an organization, and that focusing on the development of people is a key ingredient for success in leadership.

            Learning to be a leader is an ongoing adventure.

            This list of differences makes it clear that, unlike an ordinary boss, a leader is able to be compassionate, inclusive, generous, and hard-working for the good of the team.

            Instead of being a stereotypical scary or micromanaging-obsessed boss, a quality leader is able to establish an atmosphere of respect and collaboration.

            Whether you are new to your work environment or a seasoned administrator, these leadership traits will help you get a jump start so that you can excel as a leader and positively impact the people around you.

            For more inspiration and guidance, you can even start keeping tabs on some of the world’s top leadership experts. With an adventurous and positive attitude, anyone can learn good leadership.

            Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

            Reference

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