Design & Marketing Specialist
Happy one year anniversary as Border Bank! Wow, does time fly!
When I was first hired, I knew the bank would eventually need a rebrand, but I never imagined I’d get to play such a big part in it. (I mean, secretly I hoped I would, but let’s be modest here.) It really has been an honor and I’ve enjoyed each fun-tedious-strenuous-frustrating-but-exhilarating step along the way.
Since it’s our brand anniversary, I’ve been thinking about the importance of branding. It’s so much more than a nice logo or design, although, don’t get me wrong, those things are key. But what is branding and why is it so important?
1. Your brand is your story.
Your brand represents your promise to your customers, and more importantly, to your employees. What’s important to your business? Clearly defining your mission-vision-values is a great start, but take that one step further and dive into the “why?” Why do you do what you do? This promise will let people know what to expect and keep you faithful on the path to getting there.
2. Your brand identifies your true colors and depicts meaning.
Being clear about who you are is important, but dare I argue, even more important, is being clear about who you are not. Create a list of “we are” statements and “we are not” statements as part of your brand guide. Having a clear vision about your core pillars, goals, and aspirations as a brand will build trust, instill confidence, and be a guiding path through challenges and success.
3. Great brands are built on emotions.
You can do as much research, data processing, internet scouring as humanly possible, but ultimately, most decisions are based on how you feel. Can your brand truly connect with people and do you create an (exceptional) experience for your customers? For a great brand, the answers to these questions are always yes.
4. Strong brands value and engage their employees.
Employees are the heart of a company, and the culture of a company can make or break your business. If things are broken on the inside, a bandage isn’t going to fix it. A strong brand includes employees in its story, offers clear communication, and aligns everyone with a clear vision. An Oreo without the filling doesn’t stick together, and a brand without employee engagement is just that…missing its middle.
5. A concrete brand will lead marketing.
Marketing helps a brand thrive and drives its roots deep into the ground. Without a concrete brand how do you speak or sell to customers? Sure, you could throw everything at the wall and see what sticks, but that approach will create the wild west, and even the best cowboy doesn’t hit the bullseye every single time. A good brand lays the groundwork for pavement and marketing takes the ingredients and makes something solid. Marketing is the spokesperson, the cheerleader and the biggest brand ambassador you have. Properly invest (both time and resources) in your marketing…period.
Recognizing a good brand is easy. Creating a good brand takes work. Living a good brand takes promise. All of this boils down to one key ingredient. Authenticity. Be true to your brand, to your employees and to your customers. A powerful brand, above everything, keeps its promise.
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