Why Branding Isn't Just a Marketing Problem

Ensure that all customer touchpoints are branded (courtesy of Carving the Apex) 

You've probably heard variations of these conversations in your own organisation:

"Our branding sucks!  Let's change our logo and splash it all over the place."

"We need a new tagline!  And a fancy jingle that everybody can hum to!"

"Our website looks like a dog's breakfast.  No wonder nobody can recall or remember what our brand is about!"

"Can the Marcoms do something about the low interest in our brand?  How about a major branding campaign with our advertisements placed in the most prominent locations?"

Sadly, many corporate executives and managers associate branding with marketing (or more specifically marketing communications).  After all, the brand identity of most organisations are often depicted through platforms like the logo, tagline, advertising templates, web design, banners, posters, T-shirts and so on.

The truth, however, is that branding is less about the message than about the experience.  According to Branding Strategy Insider, "Marketing communication is much more effective in building brand awareness than it is in creating or changing brand perceptions."

In this regard, the only way to bail one's brand out of a sinking situation is to improve customer experience.  This covers the work of the entire organisation - from manufacturing (product quality and features), logistics and operations (faster deliveries), HR (hiring the right service staff, culture), retail/frontline (ensuring that branded experiences are delivered), design (shoptfronts, furniture, stationery) and of course marketing itself.

To build a strong and robust brand - or to transform an ailing one - every facet of the organisation needs to be oriented in the right direction.  While a spanking new uniform for frontliners or an aesthetically pleasing shopfront may help to do the trick, the real magic often takes place in the individual interactions between customer and staff.

Every facet of an organisation needs to be oriented towards the customer and to work towards a consistent and integrated brand-centric experience.  Ensure that you deliver (or overdeliver) on your brand promise.  If you can't, don't put it out in the first place.

The essence of great brands lie in every customer touchpoint.  The only way to solve a branding issue is to align one's entire corporate machinery in the same direction.  Only then can you build a truly great brand.

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