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Monday, August 23, 2010

Notes from UCA Culture Bytes: Branding is Your New Best Friend (Aug 10)

1. What is Good Branding?

* positive, believable, personal, differeniated, communicates the deep need for your product
* original branding was to keep track of cattle, "know who your cattle (i.e. patrons) are"
* a good brand is a compass for driving your org's/or personal development

2. Why Branding?

* Will help you form an emotional bond with people, as branding is knowing your relationship to the outside.
* Makes you different from the other options out there for entertainment and culture.
* Helps increase loyalty, awareness, builds your patrons' relationships with you.

3. Checklist: Do you have a brand?

* How many logos do you have? Do you have a logo?
(important to remember that branding is not a logo, but drives logo, your language, your overall vibe)
* Do you have a defined typface? Colors? A style document?
* Do you have a tagline?
* Are you meeting your public's expectations?
* Do you think about how you talk about yourself, is there a defined voice, a consistent message?
* Are your materials identifiable on a table with a bunch of other materials? Can you regularly identify yours?
* Do you know your reputation? How the public perceives your brand? Does their perception match your brand's definition?
* Are your employees attitudes consistent with your brand?
* Do you

4. How do you differentiate between what you think your brand is, and what the public thinks your brand is?

* Pay attention to kudos and complaints? Are they consistent with your brand?
* Don't ask what they think of your company or brand but simple questions like 5 words to describe your company.
* Compare yourself to your competitors and define how your brand separates you from them.
* Knowing your brand identity is performing constant reevaluation and feedback.
* The branding process should be interactive and constantly evolve. It's a process of self-discovery for you.

5. How do you get your entire company to buy into brand? Do you police branding?

* Stay in touch regularly with staff so they understand the brand and its elements.
* Have a company style guide, branding document, and brand czar to keep things consistent.
* And instead of calling the brand czar the branding police, call them the "brand champion."
* Help staff feel like they get to help define what brand is through company-wide brainstorm exercises.

6. Is maintaining multiple brands for one organization possibly? Can you have different brands for different audiences?

* Yes and Yes
* As long as the different brand for the different audience is consistent, that is the major factor.
* Keep sub-brands connected to main, parent brand.
* Make sure sub-brands are also consistent, with defined looks and voice.

We had such a lively discussion that we didn't even get into the intracacies of rebranding. So we'll save that for a 2011 Culture Byes. Stay tuned!

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