So you have jumped on the bandwagon to create a revolutionary brand for your organization. Your brand identity is in place, culture is defined and strategy all set. Now what?
Why Tell Your Story
This is where brand communication comes into play. Brand communication revolves around aligning the perceptual gaps that your target audience may have about your brand. For those of you that do not see communicating your brand as one of your organization’s priorities, perhaps this brand should not have been created in the first place. You may have the most amazing brand waiting to be unveiled, yet nobody will understand it if it is under wraps. So why let others define you when you can very well define yourself?
Who Are Your Listeners
Communicating internally to your employees and externally to your target audience should be of equal importance.
Let it start from within. Your employees are your brand ambassadors, hence you might find yourself on a slippery slope if you assume that they understand the brand without communicating it right. Alignment between management and employees is essential when a company is trying to portray a uniform image to the public. It definitely is more convincing when everyone tells the same story.
Next comes your target audience. It is often mistaken that marketing your product means communicating your brand. Yes, people are getting to know your product through these means, but what we truly want is for them to connect with the brand and draw them in on the next level. When your target audience understands your story and interacts with it, a perceived level of trust is constructed and paves the way for your organisation. The ability to actively manage that image is your prerogative.
How to Tell it Right
It is common to have a brand manual with the code of conduct, vision and values of the company. Having clear goals in place is the first step, but more importantly, are your employees living and breathing these values?
Invite your employees to build the brand together so that they feel a sense of contribution and belonging. This leads to an inherent responsibility to uphold the image of the brand as their own. Engage them, recognise them, so that they inject life into your story. Human capital is after all an asset.
Consistency is what brands should strive for in all aspects of external brand communications. Consistency of your internal and external communications should be taken under consideration to maximise the efficacy of your communication plan. We all know what happens when you tell a different story about the same issue. Now that you have realized the importance of brand communication, it is time to act on yours.
By Phyllis Koh