ACCM: Brand As A Work In ProgressBy: Doug Caverly - May 19, 2008
The feeling of accomplishment you get after completing a task is always nice. Brand development doesn’t have an "end date," however, and a speaker at ACCM urged attendees to give it constant attention.
Lois Boyle-Brayfield is the president and chief creative officer at J. Schmid & Assoc. Inc. In a session titled "Brand – It’s Not a One-Time Thing, It’s an All the Time Thing!" she stated, "Brand is really the perception your customers have of you. . . . You have to guide it constantly. . . . The experience you deliver must be consistent on all levels . . . with every channel . . . every creative element . . . at every point of content."
It’s important that consistency not result in dullness, though. Boyle-Brayfield defined brand promise as giving customers relevant and unique benefits, and said, "The problem is many of us don’t differentiate on one thing and we look the same as our competitors." Also, "I guarantee all of you have that one thing that is different in your brand . . . . Your customer won’t know it if you don’t say it."
Try to connect on an emotional level, not by offering the lowest price. Carefully consider every step, since it’s easier to build a good brand name from scratch than redefine an established, less-positive one. And again, don’t think that you can wrap up and set aside brand development issues; they require constant consideration.
Boyle-Brayfield emphasized, "If you don’t have a brand, you don’t have loyalty."