What does the word “brand” mean to you? Do logos and slogans come to mind? Maybe products or services? “Brand” and “branding” are multi-purpose terms that are fundamental to all facets of running a business. Your brand affects your marketing, your email signatures, your office layout, even the font you use! At Marbury, everything we do revolves around helping you stay true to who you are as a company, which means knowing your brand is vital to everyone’s success! Our Creative Director, Rob Marbury, walks us through the many hats that brands can wear.
Make Your Mark
The word “brand” originated with cowboys, who would brand cattle with their name or insignia. When you saw a cow, you knew where and to whom it belonged. Just by looking at that mark, you probably knew if it was a good ranch with high-quality cattle (that you might want to keep), or a questionable one that would fight you for the cow (so you should return it). It was an identifying mark. That’s Brand Identity.
At Marbury Creative Group, we do a fair amount of Brand Identity work — as an extension of a brand — but we start with Brand Consulting and Brand Development. It can be confusing, because the word “brand” gets thrown around a lot. We define BRAND as a DELIVERABLE claim of DISTINCTION — what you promise to consistently deliver to your customers and prospects in every interaction — that is UNIQUE among your competitors. It positions you for success among a particular group of consumers.
Know Your Influence
Let’s say you are a physicians’ practice, and paramount to ALL that you do is making sure your patient knows everything about his or her condition or illness, as well as all the options available. Your practice’s brand will appeal to a target market of people who want to be really involved in decisions about their healthcare. If your practice is more clinically-minded and efficient, and your patients achieve their best success when they can follow orders without asking a ton of questions, your brand is different — more of an “authority” and a “get to the point to save time” kind of practice. Nothing is wrong with either of these. They just appeal to different audiences.
At Marbury, we have a process and a way of guiding our clients through brand development and consulting called Brandfluence™. We started this approach in 2001 and it still works today. We focus on facts. We don’t make things up. Your company or product already does great things (or you wouldn’t be in business), so we bring those unique selling propositions to the surface and build your brand position around them. The Marbury team brainstorms with select members of your team, we create personas of your dream customer, and then research your competition to find FACTS that are RELEVANT to your customer and are UNIQUE among your competitors. That’s your brand. After identifying your brand, we create language around it, the look and sound of it, and the pathways to get your brand in front of more dream customers. That’s brand development, and that’s what we love!
We ALWAYS want to understand your brand before we spend any of your time or money on brand identity collateral or tactics. Not everyone we work with needs to start from scratch with their brand, though. If you can clearly and quickly explain your deliverable claim of distinction, brand development work may not be needed.
Curious about whether you’ve nailed your brand or not? Or do you have a solid brand but aren’t sure how best to use it? We would love to help! Contact us today at firstname.lastname@example.org