Slip Slidin’ Away
At Cronin Creative, we love the collaborative process of building powerful brands with our clients. After creating something strong, authentic, and unique to that client in their chosen market, we always stress the importance of maintaining that brand, keeping vigilant watch on every element of the messaging, every contact with every customer.
All too often, over time, that last piece of advice winds up being underplayed or even ignored. From a branding point of view, this can be a fatal mistake. Writing in Forbes magazine, author/branding consultant William Arruda summed it up as the difference between a promise made and a promise that’s actually delivered.
“Branding is the key to differentiating yourself from the competition, but if you don’t build your brand promise around reality or consistently live up to it, your branding efforts are pointless,” Arruda says. “Brands are built through the consistent delivery of the brand promise through all stakeholder touch points. It is the consistent, desired experience that builds trust, and trust is the foundation for loyalty and promotion.”
Part of the problem may be the widespread impression that branding is really about a beautiful logo and a catchy tagline. Although those highly visible elements are important, authentic branding involves so much more. Yes, the presentation of your logo – colors, type treatment, etc. – should always be consistent, but that consistency should extend to every touch point of your brand, from customers to potential customers to vendors and beyond.
The watering down of your brand – we’ll call it “brand erosion” – is insidious, starting with the smallest details and eventually snowballing to stunt the growth of your business. Far too many companies spend precious time and resources establishing an authentic brand, only to find themselves on this slippery slope.
So, when the time is right, devote the necessary effort and resources to build your brand, keep it real, own it, and most importantly, stick to it.