How to Bring Your Brand to Life

How to Bring Your Brand to Life - Kim Schlossberg Designs

When you fully understand your brand (see What’s Your Story?), you can work on expressing it clearly and consistently every time you communicate, no matter the medium. Whether you call the components of branding brand expressions, brand or customer touchpoints, or customer experience, know that you’re expressing your brand in every transaction and interaction with your customers and the public. Everything you do in your organization brings your brand to life in the world. It’s up to us to carefully manage what we do with this important asset.

Stephen Tolerico, Chief Marketing Officer, Sewell Automotive Companies, in a recent talk the Dallas/Fort Worth Chapter of the American Marketing Association, says that his organization recognizes 682 customer touchpoints – and they strive to get them all right, every time.

Understanding branding is easy – everything matters.

– Howard Schultz, founder of Starbucks

I don’t have 682 touchpoints, but here are 44 to start your thinking about how you express your own brand in everything you do.

  1. Not just your logo! But your expression of your brand in all media:
    1. Logo image: symbol and/or wordmark
    2. Colors
    3. Paper selection
    4. Fonts and typefaces
  2. Tagline
  3. Elevator speech
  4. Mission statement
  5. Vision statement
  6. Positioning statement
  7. How you answer your phone
  8. Quality of service
  9. Staff attitude and professionalism
  10. Ease of access of service or product
  11. Everything printed or created for your organization – brochures, proposals, letters, business cards, signs, handouts, etc.
  12. Your website
  13. Presence on other websites and directories
  14. Your social media presence – your pages and your posts
  15. Integrity – consistency between what you say and what you do
  16. Public relations, press releases and articles
  17. Email signature lines for everyone in the organization
  18. Mass emails
  19. Events – type of event, invitees, style, location, etc.
  20. How you handle problems
  21. Annual report
  22. Newsletters
  23. Promotional products
  24. Signs & banners
  25. Partnerships and strategic alliances
  26. Grants – which grants do you apply for, and how do you write your grant proposals?
  27. Customer/donor/supporter database. How do you communicate with your supporters? Do you pursue supporters who specifically fit with your brand?
  28. The interior design of your facility
  29. Snacks and amenities at your facility
  30. How people are dressed
  31. Product/service packaging
  32. The vehicles your people drive
  33. Your online and offline advertising
  34. Speeches and presentations
  35. Recruiting
  36. Volunteering and other community projects
  37. Non-profit sponsorships and donations
  38. Invoices and sales tickets
  39. Loyalty program
  40. Trademarks and servicemarks
  41. Proofreading and writing quality of your written materials
  42. Response or wait times
  43. Salesperson and representative actions and demeanor
  44. And probably the most important of all these brand expressions: Word of mouth

Planned or not, your brand is communicated in every single thing you do – or don’t do. It is easy to overlook the reality – you communicate your brand every time you perform your service, offer your product, or interact with the public.

All of these components will work together to build your brand in the eyes of the public.

Kim Schlossberg
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About the Author

Kim Schlossberg created Kim Schlossberg Designs to help businesses and non-profits refine their messages and get them out to the right audience, in a clear, consistent, and integrated way. She provides strategic planning, execution and coordination of marketing, branding, and design by developing a deep understanding of clients’ businesses and their goals, and serves as a trusted advisor to help them grow their businesses and brand. Kim speaks to business and non-profit groups about marketing and related topics, and publishes a well-received (but slightly irregular) newsletter.

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