I recently received a comment on one of my latest blogs ‘To rebrand, or to refresh, that is the question’. This particular comment has made me realise that the definition of a brand is somewhat ambiguous at best. Most people think it is a logo, or messaging, but it is so much more than that. In this blog we will discuss what brand worlds are and why you should start thinking about them.
Now I know what you’re thinking, ‘brand worlds, that sounds like chaff’, and in some ways you would be correct. It is a sort of buzzword that is being thrown around in the branding world, but for good reason. It represents your entire organisation as a whole, not just a logo or a tagline.
A brand world is the very definition of what your brand represents as a whole. Simple, right?
Yes, in most ways it is, but it is quite a task to understand exactly what your brand represents.
With the world of technology ever expanding, your brand is having to spread further across multiple platforms and countries. It is becoming ever easier to sell services and products to every corner of the globe with new technologies. So what your brand world does is to help keep everything consistent across these vast landscapes, from the look and feel to the messaging and behaviour of staff.
As you can see it doesn’t just affect your online presence, it dictates both physical and digital worlds. One example of a good brand world I like to use when explaining it is The Dungeons, every interaction with them is consistent and thematic. It doesn’t matter whether you receive an email or visit The London Dungeon or The Edinburgh Dungeon, you experience with them is the same.
Because when it is done right it can create some of the best customer experiences, which in turn lead to loyal customers. If you are all light and bubbly on Facebook but then your website is serious and corporate, your customers won’t know where they stand and will lose trust in you.
It’s as simple as that, consistency is king.
There are many ways in which you can help create a brand world, or keep on up-to-date.
The first step is to review where your organisation is:
Once you have reviewed these items, it is time to start thinking about your brand world. This should start with with a workshop with your staff to hear their thoughts on what your company stands for now and what it should do in the future. This is an integral part of the process and should not be skipped, if your staff aren’t included and don’t agree with the direction you take it could result in poor adoption and failure of your world.
So you’ve got all this great analysis and research, now for the fun part. To define your brand world!
A good way to start this process off is by thinking about who you are targeting and how you want to be perceived; are you a happy go lucky brand? From this you can create your messaging framework that will dictate how everything else falls into line.
Then comes the look and feel (my personal favourite) of your brand, where you need to consider a few variables:
With these items all ticked off and amended where necessary you are pretty close to having completed your brand world. The only thing left is to implement and maintain it.
One of the best ways to implement your new or updated brand world is to get the whole organisation involved. Make a big thing out it and get your employees buy-in.
One great way to achieve employee buy-in is to have brand ambassadors within your organisation. They could be internal staff who are involved heavily in your organisation or external partners who are hired to get everyone fired up about the new brand. You can even host launch parties in your offices as a way to introduce the brand and provide some initial buzz.
Another way is to provide staff training or workshops to talk through what you are trying to achieve and how they can help you. This may include language, photography used in communications and their role within the brand. To support this you should look to create a set of brand guidelines. The brand guidelines should have all the detail your employee needs to keep any communications coming from your organisation consistent, but without being overly complicated. All employees are time poor and so will only use these guides if they are easy to disseminate, it might even be worth creating a shorter guideline for each area of your organisation outlining the aspects of the brand world that our of particular importance to their role.
To help further with your communication and marketing efforts you may want to consider setting up a demand centre. This is a relatively new concept, but one that will definitely help larger or multi-national organisations. Sirius Decisions defines a demand centre as ‘a central or regional hub of shared marketing services, infrastructure and processes that enables organisations to efficiently bring programmes to market by leveraging key corporate assets and best practices.’
If, however you don’t have an in-house marketing team or are a smaller business, you may want to consider hiring one creative agency to fulfill the bulk of your marketing output. This will ensure that the communications will be consistent throughout.
Have you got a brand world setup? Do you think they are worth having? Let me know in the comments!
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