by Kelly Hobkirk
Is it possible to guarantee brand success? Yes and No. Our branding process works. When we are hired to brand a company, service, or product, we know that the process we use has yielded a whole lot of success and happiness. But we can’t control factors outside of our process. All we can realistically do is follow our process and encourage sound business practices for the rest.
Lately, I’ve been rewriting business letters for some clients to help improve one of the factors typically out of our control, and it’s working. They are getting results. (Over time, my hope is that osmosis will occur, and their written communications will improve. When your writing improves, verbal communication often follows suit.)
My approach to successful branding is a simple process:
1) Plan as much as possible, making sure you get all of the basics down on paper.
2) Design the brand to inspire and connect, while adhering to the plan.
3) Market with integrity, staying true to market needs and brand characteristics.
Does this formula guarantee success? Nope, however, I guarantee that if you don’t do these things, your chances of failure will exponentially increase.
People ask for guaranteed brand success, but a guarantee of success is impossible because there are factors outside our direct influence. For instance, we can’t control how a company does business, how they follow up with customers, or product quality, yet all of those and more factor into overall success of a brand.
The big surprise is that many companies fail to do all three of the above critical steps as described.
• They may do some planning, but not all of it, or they may skip a critical step of planning such as brand positioning.
• They may steer the design towards personal preference rather than strategically connecting it to the market. Of course, we have ways of steering it back on course.
• Companies often market without integrity, creating fictional (let’s say ‘hopeful’ or ‘wishful’) stories rather than compelling truths. This is why people are now suspicious of advertisements.
One truth that reigns supreme in branding and marketing is that repeating what has previously failed will yield failure, but following a proven process that works stands a great chance of manifesting brand success.