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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 20, 2019

            How to Find New Growth Opportunities at Work

            How to Find New Growth Opportunities at Work

            Career advancement is an enticement that today’s companies use to lure job candidates. But to truly uncover growth opportunities within a company, it’s up to you to take the initiative to move up.

            You can’t rely on recruiter promises that your company will largely hire from within. Even assurances you heard from your direct supervisor during the interviewing process may not pan out. But if you begin a job knowing that you’re ultimately responsible for getting yourself noticed, you will be starting one step ahead.

            Accomplished entrepreneur and LinkedIn Co-Founder Reid Hoffman said,

            “If you’re not moving forward, you’re moving backward.”

            It’s important to recognize that taking charge of your own career advancement, and then mapping out the steps you need to succeed, is key to moving forward on your trajectory.

            Make a Point of Positioning Yourself as a Rising Star

            As an employee looking for growth opportunities within your current company, you have many avenues to position yourself as a rising star.

            As an insider, you’re able to glean insights on company strategies and apply your expertise where it’s most needed. Scout out any skills gaps, then make a point to acquire and apply them. And, when you have creative ideas to offer, make it your mission to gain the ear of those in the organization who can put your ideas to the test.

            Valiant shows of commitment and enterprise make managers perk up and take notice, keeping you ahead of both internal and external competitors.

            Employ these other useful tips to let your rising star qualities shine:

            1. Promote Your Successes to Your Higher-Ups

            When your boss casually asks how you’re doing, use this valuable moment to position yourself as indispensable: “I’m floating on clouds because three clients have already commented on how well they like my redesign of the company website.”

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            Tell your supervisors about any and all successes. Securing a new contract or signing a new customer should be a cause for celebration. Be sure to let your bosses know.

            2. Cultivate Excellent Listening Skills

            Listen well, and ask great questions. Realize that people love to talk about themselves.

            But if you’re a superb listener, others will confide in you, and you’ll learn from what they share. You may even find out something valuable about your own prospects in the company.

            If others view you as even-minded and thoughtful, they’ll respect your ideas and, in turn, listen to what you have to say.

            Check out these important listening skills: 13 Powerful Listening Skills to Improve Your Life at Work and at Home

            3. Go to All Office Networking Events

            Never skip the office Christmas party, your coworker’s retirement party, or any office birthday parties, wedding showers, or congratulatory parties for colleagues.

            If others see you as a team player, it will help you rise in your company. These on-site parties will also help you mingle with co-workers whom you might not ordinarily have the chance to see. For special points, help organize one or two of these get-togethers.

            Take the Extra Step to Show Your Value to the Company

            Managers and HR staff know that it can be less risky – and a lot less costly — to promote from within. As internal staff, you likely have a good grasp of the authority structure and talent pool in the company, and know how to best navigate these networks in achieving both the company’s goals and your own.

            The late Nobel-Prize winning economist, Gary Becker, coined the term “firm-specific,” which describes the unique skills required to excel in an individual organization. You, as a current employee, have likely tapped into these specific skills, while external hires may take a year or more to master their nuances.

            Know that your experience within the company already provides value, then find ways to add even more value, using these tips:

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            4. Show Initiative

            Commit yourself to whatever task you’re given, and make a point of going above and beyond.

            Position yourself so that you’re ready to take on any growth opportunities that present themselves. If you believe you have skills that have gone untapped, find a manager who will give you a chance to prove your worth.

            Accept any stretch assignment that showcases your readiness for advancement. Stay late, and arrive early. Half of getting the best assignments is sticking around long enough to receive them.

            5. Set Yourself Apart by Staying up on Everything There Is to Know About Your Company and Its Competitors

            Subscribe to and read the online trade journals. Become an active member in your industry’s network of professionals. Go to industry conferences, and learn your competitors’ strategies.

            Be the on-the-ground eyes and ears for your organization to stay on top of industry trends.

            6. Go to Every Company Meeting Prepared and Ready to Learn

            A lot of workers feel meetings are an utter waste of time. They’re not, though, because they provide face-time with higher-ups and those in a position to give you the growth opportunities you need.

            Go with the intention of absorbing information and using it to your advantage — including the goals and work styles of your superiors. Respect the agenda, listen more than you speak, and never beleaguer a point.

            Accelerate Your Career Growth Opportunities

            A recent study found that the five predictors of employees with executive potential were: the right motivation, curiosity, insight, engagement, and determination. These qualities help you stand out, but it’s also important to establish a track record of success and to not appear to be over-reaching in your drive to move up in your company.

            Try to see yourself from your boss’s position and evaluate your promote-ability.

            Do you display a passion and commitment toward meeting the collective goals of the company? Do you have a motivating influence with team members and show insight and excellence in all your work?

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            These qualities will place you front and center when growth opportunities arise.

            Use these strategic tips to escalate your opportunities for growth:

            7. Find a Mentor

            With mentorship programs fast disappearing, this isn’t always easy. But you need to look for someone in the company who has been promoted several times and who also cares about your progress.

            Maybe it’s the person who recommended you for the job. Or maybe it’s your direct supervisor. It could even be someone across the hall or in a completely different department.

            Talk to her or him about growth opportunities within your company. Maybe she or he can recommend you for a promotion.

            Not sure how to find the right mentor? Here’s How to Find a Mentor That Will Help You Succeed.

            8. Map out Your Own Growth Opportunity Chart

            After you’ve worked at the company for a few months, work out a realistic growth chart for your own development. This should be a reasonable, practical chart — not a pie-in-the-sky wish list of demands.

            What’s reasonable? Do you think being promoted within two years is reasonable? What about raises? Try to inform your own growth chart with what you’ve heard about other workers’ raises and promotions.

            Once you’ve rigorously charted a realistic path for your personal development within the company, try to talk to your mentor about it.

            Keep refining your chart until it seems to work with your skills and proven talents. Then, arrange a time to discuss it with your boss.

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            You may want to time the discussion around the time of your performance review. Then your boss can weigh in with what he feels is reasonable, too.

            9. Set Your Professional Bar High

            Research shows that more than two-thirds of workers are just putting in their time. But through your active engagement in the organization and commitment to giving your best, you can provide the contrast against others giving lackluster performances.

            Cultivate the hard skills that keep you on the cutting edge of your profession, while also refining your soft skills. These are the attributes that make you better at embracing diverse perspectives, engendering trust, and harnessing the power of synergy.

            Even if you have an unquestionably left-brain career — a financial analyst or biotechnical engineer, for example — you’re always better off when you can form kind, courteous, quality relationships with colleagues.

            Let integrity be the cornerstone of all your interactions with clients and co-workers.

            The Bottom Line

            Growth opportunities are available for those willing to purposely and adeptly manage their own professional growth. As the old adage says,

            “Half of life is showing up.”

            The other half is sticking around so that when your boss is looking for someone to take on a more significant role, you are among the first who come to mind.

            Remember, your career is your business!

            More About Continuous Growth

            Featured photo credit: Zach Lucero via unsplash.com

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