Written by Justin Bieganek, Mercury Founder, and Cheri Quinn, Mercury Brand Strategist
Before we can talk about assessing whether or not you have a strong and consistent one, it is important to have an understanding of what brand is and what brand is not.
Let’s dispel some myths: brand is not your logo, it’s not your storefront, it’s not your website. It’s the sum of all elements. Your brand is how a customer feels after they have interacted with any of your marketing and sales touches. It’s your history and your value in the minds of your clients, members, community and prospective buyers.
Here is an illustration to show the make-up of an organization related to brand. And it starts from your core.
Just like physical fitness, your core is a true indicator of your overall strength. The strength of your brand is determined by all the brand elements and brand communications, working together in a consistent manner, from the inside out. Your brand core is your brand strategy. Brand strategy is all the parts of your brand guide. These include:
- Brand Story
- Core Values
- Value Proposition
- Essential Value
- Ideal Audience(s)
- Client Insights
- Sales Moment
- Brand Character
- Brand Voice
- Key Words
- Key Messages
At Mercury, we start with strategy. That means, when we take on a comprehensive re-brand for a client we start the project with the first phase of The Mercury Method – Spread Your Wings.
We work with our clients to build their brand guide. The brand guide helps create clarity, alignment across the organization and structure for consistency in every communication.
Your brand will help encourage someone to engage with your product or service, and it directly supports whatever marketing and sales activities that are in play. Your brand does not explicitly say “buy me”; instead, it says, "this is who I am, this is why I exist. If you agree, if you like me, you can buy me, engage with me, support me and recommend me."
The traditional sales and recruiting funnel has changed drastically, even within the past 10 years. Consumers have access to more information now than ever before. Your ideal audiences know a lot about you before you ever connect voice to voice or face to face. It is important to let them know who you are, so they can self-identify that you are the right organization for them.
Here is the definition we use to define brand at Mercury Creative Group:
A well-executed brand experience creates an emotional connection, turning your leaders, team members, clients, association members and communities into champions for your organization.
How do you know if your brand is creating an emotional connection?
We offer the checklist below to our prospective clients to start thinking about their own brand clarity.
Brand Clarity Checklist:
(Answer Yes or No)
- Do you have a company manifesto?
- Do you have a clear brand value statement?
- Do you understand your competition?
- Have you prioritized your audiences and settled on one primary audience?
- Do you know your differentiator?
If you answered “no” to any of these questions – let’s connect. You may have a brand problem. Mercury Creative Group can help.