As an employer, you may wonder, “Why is our brand so important?” Branding helps you sell your product and attract top talent. After all, people want to buy from and work for organizations they know and love.
How can you tell if your brand is working? Start with these five questions.
1. Can your employees explain your brand?
Think of five top brands. What comes to mind? Most likely you listed companies like Apple, McDonald’s, Coca-Cola, Nike, and Disney. This is no accident. These organizations work tirelessly to design and cultivate their reputations. Most people know not only who these businesses are, but also why they are exceptional at what they do.
2. Do you have a compelling brand story?
If you ask someone to tell you about Apple or Disney, they probably won’t say, “Apple makes phones,” or “Disney is an amusement park.” Although these statements are technically true, Apple and Disney are so much more. Apple inspires us to be innovative and forward-thinking, while Disney makes magical vacations come alive. These brands are memorable because they go beyond products and capture our imaginations.
3. Do you do what you say you do?
Even if you have a well-defined brand and a compelling story, your efforts will fall flat if your brand isn’t genuine. You can’t call yourself “the most magical place on earth” and not deliver. You employees must believe in what you do and actually create this experience, so your customers believe in you too.
4. Is your brand specific to your company?
A brand is meant to distinguish one businesses’ goods or services from those of another. Unfortunately, organizations often resort to aspirational and generic ideals such as excellent customer service or top-quality products. Your brand should be achievable and unique to your organization. Otherwise, you end up looking like all the other companies who hope to be great.
5. Is someone in charge of your brand?
According to employer brand expert Lisa Cervenka, “Creating any type of meaningful and memorable brand takes discipline, focus, and acute self-awareness… It’s so much harder than it looks.” She encourages businesses to have someone who owns and directs all branding efforts such as a chief creative officer or a chief branding officer.
How did you do? If you answered “No” to several of the questions above, you probably have some work to do. Whether your organization is a small local business, a large international corporation or somewhere in between, a strong brand allows you to stand out from the thousands of similar companies claiming to be as good as you (if not better). Strive to build a brand that gives people a reason to consider you before turning elsewhere. (Forbes, 2018)
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