5 Guidelines for Building a Memorable Brand

5 Guidelines for Building a Memorable Brand

Your company’s brand identity is its first impression, but with the right moves, it will be the first of many.

In a related post, we discussed branding from a conceptual standpoint, more specifically, the idea that having no identity is preferable to having a poor identity. Look, feel and perception can be largely subjective, but eventually, we have to pick a path and develop a real set of brand guidelines. Something has to take shape and lead us to specifics like planning and execution.

If your company has made the decision to take control and project an identity, or if you think it’s time for an image update, here are a few considerations to take into account:

1. Define Your Identity: Before deciding on color, font, messaging or logo, it’s essential to define your brand. Take inventory of the components that are already in place. What is your stated mission? What are the consumer benefits of working with you? Who do you want to attract to your base? How can you differentiate from your competition? These are all great questions to take in to account when evaluating your identity. Do a quick internet search for “brand archetypes.” Are you the hero, the everyman, the jester, the creator or something else? Be confident in who you are and build from that.

2. Develop a Look and Feel: Logo work, colors, typeface, style … it can be a lot to handle. If you’re going to employ outside help on anything, this should be it. Professional graphic designers spend years honing and developing the nuanced points of typography and color theory. A good designer will be able to take your credit union’s stated mission, goals and targets, and create a visually appealing palette that is appropriate, unique, versatile and memorable.

3. Create Consistency: The point of branding is to develop a memorable identity. If the look and feel of your collateral changes piece to piece, it could confuse the intended audience and water down your message. Items don’t need to be identical, but there should be some continuity among brochures, business cards, letterheads, signage, packaging, forms and the like. This goes beyond the obvious visual aspects, there should be a conceptual continuity regarding voice and personality as well.

4. Build Awareness: All the branding in the world won’t make a difference if it doesn’t reach its intended audience. Creativity and a good marketing team go a long way in terms of execution. Know your target. Are you more likely to build engagement through inbound or outbound marketing channels? Consider channels like paid search, email marketing, social media, direct mail, etc. You know your business and your market; determine where you’re most likely to garner their attention. Make sure you’re staying visible and tracking and measuring ROI.

5. Follow Through: Your company’s brand identity is its first impression, but with the right moves, it will be the first of many. Once you’ve attracted new customers and expanded your base, follow through and keep your promises. Once you get them in the door, make sure to keep them coming back.

This may seem like a tall order, but keep in mind that with the onset of any new system, the initial investment (both time and money) is often the biggest obstacle. Once you’ve established a structure and have a set of guidelines in place, the routine becomes much more simplistic. Just remember to trust your intuition, engage your audience and be consistent.

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