Have you reviewed your products and services lately?
Adding new services and products can be seen as growth within a company, but in reality it can be very damaging to a brand.
When Nabisco launched SnackWell’s and became the 7th largest selling grocery item, they decided to put their name on everything. Can you guess what happened next? SnackWell’s sales plummeted.
Remember, there is a difference between building brands and milking brands.
The most valuable and most useful aspect of branding is creating a new category. It’s critical to narrow the focus of a brand to the point of nothing and start completely new. When a company narrows down their focus, they become the first brand in a new category and ultimately the leading brand in a new segment of the market.
To build a brand in a category that does not exist, you will have to do two things:
Successful brands are those that continually adapt to changes in the marketplace. They behave more like a living, breathing organism rather than an rigid, structured organization.
Successful brands understand that it’s necessary to be able to grow and roll with the punches as they present themselves.
While it’s important to have consistency within a brand, it’s as equally important to let the brand breathe and make mistakes — in other words, let the brand be human. Do you find yourself posting the same type of messages on your brand’s social media? Guess what … it’s fine to mix up the messaging. Your community wants to connect with your brand and the best way to accomplish this is to be human.
Allow your messaging on social media to range from informative to humorous to educating about products or services. Despite these obvious inconsistencies, your colleagues and community will still recognize your brand; they will begin to recognize the different moods of your brand and they will be able to identify with it.
Last week I shared ways to help build your brand online and the list began with “Define the Vision.” I had a few people ask, “How do I begin?”
Before you can clearly describe your brand story, you need to consider the big picture and define your vision, purpose, values and passions (also known as VPs). Outlining your VPs is key for a solid foundation of any organization.
Keep your vision statements short and simple, so that it’s easy to recall and easily repeatable. Your vision statement should be used as a filter for decision making. Will X (your decision) help achieve Y (your vision)? Without a vision statement, it will take longer to achieve your goal.
- Think about one problem you would like to see resolved. This is your vision. Write it down in the present tense.
- Write as much detail to support your vision. The more information you can gather, the clearer it will be to see the steps that need to get done.
- It’s important to re-read your vision statement often. This will keep your mind focused and create momentum.