There are many definitions out there, but here's one of our favorite by Marty Neumier. A brand is a person’s gut feeling about a product, service, or organization. It's the first thing people think or, or feel, when they see your logo. In simpler terms, brand is trust. Brand is your reputation. Brands help create an emotional connection between you and your customer. So, how do you create that connection? Brands Are Created by People for People
That sounds simple but so many companies forget they are communicating with humans, especially online. Why is it that we go into robot or corporate mode when talking about our products or services? The good news is every brand has its own personality, tone, and value — either by design or by default. Like your DNA, no one does you better than you. Here are some questions to get you started in defining your brand:
Brands are either better, different, or cheaper. Which spot are you competing for? Hint: Different is better than better (thanks Sally Hogshead).
Brand values: What is your commitment or promise to your customers?
Brand voice: If your brand was a person, how would you describe your brand's personality?
Brand tone: What style and emotional tone would you use to communicate with your audience?
To get your head around this, take a look at the example of a brand identity we developed for a client:
Authoritative but not too serious
Confident but not cocky
Humble but not push-overs
Respectful. It should not look like we’re making light of a serious situation for clients.
Conversational / Approachable. We're in the human-to-human business and we will use the customer’s own words to describe their problems and challenges. Jargon is the enemy of clarity.
Empathetic. Communicate that we get their frustrations, but should not appear overly emotional, cutesy, or goofy.
Transparency. We mean what we say and say what we do, because we value your dollars as if they were our own.
Collaboration. We work as an extension of your team and have a network of vetted vendors to meet your business needs.
Creativity. We find unconventional solutions that others miss.