Your brand is talking about you13 September, 2013
Every business has a brand. And it’s out there, talking about you, every minute of the day. But is it talking you up, or running you down?
Lots of companies walking through Dynam’s door think they can order a logo and visual style, then draw a line under it and say, “Right – brand sorted.” But is it really that much of a no-brainer?
Meet Butch McGilliecuddie, veteran Texan rancher, who proudly brands the butt of every one of his beef cattle with a big BM logo. Everyone who sees the logo at the cattle market, including you, knows which cows come from McGilliecuddie. But are you interested in Mr McGilliecuddie at this moment? Not yet – he’s way down the line. You’re interested in his cows, because that’s what you’ve come to buy. Are they well-fed and contented? Do they have healthy hides? Let’s say one of the beasts looks especially good, and you decide to take it home for your freezer. The minute you part with your cash, you have invested in the McGilliecuddie brand – and the brand is bigger than the logo – and much bigger than the cow.
Straightaway, we discover if the brand deserves our allegiance. Did Mr McGilliecuddie hand over the cow with a smile? Did he give solid customer assurances of satisfaction guaranteed or your money back? Did you feel happy driving away with your new cow? Once out of the oven, was it lean and tender, or tough and stringy? Is your family fat, full and smiling – or hungry and complaining? Whichever way it goes, you are now very interested in Mr McGilliecuddie – either you want to make darned sure you get another of his cows for the next winter, or you’re looking for a butt with a different brand.
Anyone who works with Dynam will tell you that a brand isn’t a quick fix. You don’t come up with it after an hour of throwing ideas around a meeting room. Every breath your company takes, every communication it makes, every customer interface, every product, every system, puts your brand out there. What we’re asking is – are people nodding approvingly when they see it, or shaking their heads?
Your brand is the spirit of your company – your service, your quality standards, your value for money, the way you treat your customers and suppliers, the attention you pay to every aspect of your business. Yes, you do need a logo and a strapline, and a visual style that creates synergy between all the different elements of your operation but then it’s all about how you manage it and roll it out – and that’s where working with Dynam really delivers advantages.
If Butch McGilliecuddie ever walks through Dynam’s door, the first thing we’ll do is analyse the quality of his cattle, and the services that come with them. His cows might be great – but what if signage to the ranch is shocking and potential customers keep getting lost and buying beef from a rival? What if a surly cowhand costs him a hundred sales a year through sheer bad manners? What if that big BM logo is all over the cows, but nowhere to be seen on his cowsheds, trucks, signage and advertising displays? What if the cabbage farmers down the road start aggressively promoting vegetarianism and their message is clearer than his?
This is where Dynam brings clear thinking to the visual aspects of the brand, making sure that prospective customers join up the dots between McGilliecuddie’s delicious beef cattle, his excellent customer services (once he’s fired the surly cowhand), his informative website, attention-grabbing advertising and promotions, and the signage that keeps bringing people to the right door – his door.
A poor quality cow will never be a cash cow, but a business owner aware of his brand’s deficiencies, and determined to put his cows in order, can build a brand with real muscle. That’s where the Dynam spirit of clear thinking helps to flag up problem areas, suggest restorative strategies, and get your brand rolling in the right direction. Brand development is a true partnership, a cross-fertilisation of visual power welded to dynamic business practises across the board.
Dynam makes your brand tangible, and helps you express its values. Your brand is you. So here are a few dos.
- Treat your brand with respect, and entrust it to people who understand and value it. Rude salesmen, ignorant receptionists and a phone line that’s constantly wired to voicemail, build disappointment, and don’t give your brand the credibility it deserves.
- Call your customers to action with authority and inspiration. You are proud of your brand, and you want everyone to enjoy its superior qualities.
- Communicate your brand values clearly and truthfully. Talk, tweet, blog and write with enthusiasm and clarity. Keep your information up to date, accurate and honest – nothing confuses and annoys people more than misinformation.
- Win your customers one at a time – and a strong brand will keep them coming back, whether your business is cars, cleaning, chemistry – or cows.