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Five Reasons Your Organization’s Branding Should Not Be A DIY Project

When your brand’s promise is delivered clearly and customer expectations are being met consistently, it’s a beautiful thing. Branding bliss, so to speak.

A recognizable brand should be able to spend less of its communications dollars on explaining itself and focus more directly on making its pitch and closing the sale. Usually, a respected brand can also demand top dollar or expect top-of-mind positioning because of the value of the trust it has instilled within its loyal following.

Little wonder, then, that the b-word makes frequent appearances in boardrooms and strategic planning sessions, both public and private sector. But all too often, the decision is made by an organization to embark on a branding or re-branding journey on its own – without the benefit of a branding expert to guide the process.

That’s not to say that some have not effectively navigated the branding journey internally on their own, but there are many factors that can sabotage its success. Here are the most grievous:

1. Relying on limited internal resources.

While branding should be a full-time concern, there’s rarely a specific department or a full-time position dedicated to it. It’s often an added task that doesn’t allow adequate focus or it’s assigned to an individual without the proper branding expertise.

2. Working from an inaccurate definition of brand.

Some believe that their logo, their tagline or their latest ad campaign is their “brand.” While these components are important in communicating it, a brand is truly that promise you make to your customers and the expectations they have of it as a result. Think otherwise and you’re likely to be off-course.

3. Viewing branding as a panacea.

Loss of marketshare? Customer attrition? Low employee morale? Branding is not likely to solve any of those organizational woes. Creating unrealistic expectations is a recipe for failure.

4. Developing a branding strategy without research.

Is your brand promise clear and compelling? Are customers and prospects “buying” it? Does your front line support it and follow through? Unless you have some type of research to ascertain internal and external perceptions, you’re not building your brand on a solid foundation.

5. Overlooking the need for proper deployment.

Even if you nail the development portion of the branding process, there’s still the need to devise a master strategy for how it is rolled out and properly maintained over time.

Giving your brand the proper attention it deserves is good business practice. But trying to go it alone — without a strategic brand consultant as part of your team — is risky at best.

To help both for-profit and nonprofit organizations make sound branding decisions, we’ve developed a simple guide called “Thinking About Building, Re-Building or Refreshing Your Brand? Here’s What You Need to Know.” Request it here by email. It’s wise to read it through before you make any pivotal brand moves.

Joe Knezic
By Joe Knezic VP Branding and Creative Services