This article discusses how your business’ brand is what your customers remember and build their loyalty around. Because of this, it is important that your communication and messaging points are in alignment with your branding. If not, there will be a disconnect with your customers and relationships will fade. In this piece, I explore the importance of branding, how to assess the alignment between branding and key messaging, and the importance of communication when aligning branding with communications and marketing campaigns.
Every business professional knows that a business will often live or die on the strength of its brand and the power of its messaging. However, what may not always be as readily apparent is how strongly interconnected your messaging and branding truly are, nor is it always clear how critical a role updated communications can play in the dynamic relationship between your message and your brand.
Now more than ever, businesses are tasked with the formidable challenge of differentiating themselves from a sea of competitors. In today’s truly globalized marketplace, companies must now compete not only with local independents and big-box giants but also with large and small online stores from nearly every corner of the globe.
What this means is that, as a business leader, you’re going to need to work harder than perhaps ever before to win the attention, interest, and loyalty of your target consumer. One of the most important strategies for doing this is to construct a coherent and cohesive corporate identity.
Indeed, both your brand and your message need to be instantly recognizable to your target audience if your company is going to stand out and be remembered.
Such alignment, though, is often predicated on your ability first to define and communicate your corporate identity internally. This means getting your entire crew, and every department, from marketing to sales to customer service on the same page regarding everything from your mission to your values to your processes to your aesthetic.
After all, you can’t possibly communicate your message or your brand to your target audience if you don’t first have a clear and definable vision of what these are yourself.
If you’ve been involved with marketing for a while, then you probably already understand all too well that communication can be both visual and verbal. This is why a company’s brand aesthetic in general and its logo, in particular, are so vitally important.
It’s not simply enough, for example, to select a color palette that you like or a logo design that polls well in a focus group. Your logo and your visual branding strategies must not only reflect your corporate messaging but encapsulate it in visual form.
This is a tall order, but the time and effort you expend in crafting just the right professional logo and visual brand will pay dividends when it comes to building brand awareness and recall.
Cohesion between your brand and your messaging isn’t just important in cultivating a memorable brand identity, however. Today’s consumers, particularly those belonging to Generations Y and Z, are looking not only for a great product or service at a reasonable price. They also want authenticity from the companies with which they choose to do business.
That means that if there is a disconnect between your brand and your message, one or both of these elements may be perceived as inauthentic. For example, if your company’s message revolves around the concept of family values, but your logo and branding feature less than family-oriented images, your target audience may well wonder which is the false element: the message, the brand, or both.
Aligning your messaging and branding strategies is essential in constructing a recognizable and appealing identity. However, alignment alone is probably not going to be sufficient to make your branding and messaging wholly successful in today’s crowded and competitive environment.
It’s also essential that you update your communications strategies to ensure that your message and your brand are reaching your target audience. To do this, you’re likely going to need a multi-modal, saturation approach that includes diverse communication channels.
Social media marketing is essential, particularly when it comes to reaching young adult consumers. However, there is ample evidence to suggest that direct email marketing can be just as beneficial to the success of startups as either traditional or social media marketing, if not more so.
An email newsletter can provide an invaluable opportunity to consistently deepen and reinforce both your message and your brand. A weekly email newsletter, for instance, enables you to explore issues related to your product or service while at the same time subtly (or perhaps not so subtly) promoting your wares.
What better forum to introduce your new line of immune-boosting supplements, for example, than in an email newsletter discussing the advent of cold and flu season?
Communicating your corporate identity is perhaps more challenging than ever before. In today’s highly competitive marketplace, you not only need a well-aligned brand and message, but you also need an updated communications plan, one that can reach your target audience wherever they may be. This requires marketers and business leaders to use every weapon in their communications arsenal, from social media to direct email marketing and everything in between.
illustration: marketing illustrations by Storyset