Why Your Brand Matters More than Ever

As I wander around the web and make my daily rounds in the offline world, I find myself wondering why so many businesses don’t seem to take their brands seriously.

I’m not just talking about basic brand identity, like the look of a logo or the design of a website. I’m talking about the whole concept of a brand. As in, “What does your company represent to the world?”

I’ve spent a lot of time working on brand positioning projects, helping companies define how they want to be seen. Understanding the space a company needs to occupy in its customers’ minds, and where they stand relative to competitors vying for the same mental real estate, is critical. It takes a deliberate thought process focused on clearly defining your brand.

Timeless, Not Old School

Lots of businesses treat the whole idea of branding as old school, but they couldn’t be more wrong. In our world of instant communications, social media has the power to build or destroy a brand in no time flat.

Knowing this makes many managers fearful of the power of community, and they stay away from social media because they think they can’t control it.

While control may be a bit much to expect, businesses can influence communities – online and offline – and shape their brand in the process. But what’s really important to realize is that your business has a brand image in your customer’s mind, whether you created it on purpose or not.

What Does Your Brand Stand For?

If you haven’t paid much attention to brand attributes, if you can’t express a brand personality, if you don’t have a vision for what your company represents, chances are your brand doesn’t stand for much.

Customers have already formed their own opinions, and they may vary radically from one person to the next. This lack of clarity makes it hard to grow your business.

Without a strong brand message, there isn’t a simple way for customers to share your value. If they don’t know what to say, they likely won’t say much. At least not much that is good.

Companies destined to thrive in the future recognize the value and power of word of mouth (WOM) marketing and make it work to their advantage with crystal clear brand messages. They are not afraid to join the social conversation and they embrace the challenges of online reputation management as an opportunity to turn bad into good.

These companies know their brand, can tell you what it stands for, and work hard to make sure that everyone knows where they stand.

How about you?

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