By Scott Franko
We are brand builders. We all want our brands to be successful. Building impressions is a success principle that uses the principles of branding beyond a name and logo by applying them to five key components that lead to building a more successful brand.
As you build your impressions, it is a win-win-win for you, your brand and your organization. To help you with that process, here are the five “Building Blocks for Building Your Impressions.”
Block 1 – A Higher Calling
The higher calling is the ultimate statement to describe or summarize the reasons for doing what you do. A higher calling embodies the entire brand. Your higher calling connects you or your brand better to your targeted customer.
Nike knows this. Selling shoes and apparel is the business, but selling lifestyle is the higher calling. The higher calling of Zappos is “Delivering Happiness” as well as shoes.
Block 2 – At the Core
In branding, there is a rule of seven where at least every seven years a brand should be evaluated to determine if it is still relevant, resonating well with customers, becoming stale or just needs a change. This evaluation includes your core traits. If something must change, branding plays a big part carrying out those changes, but the changes should still involve and reflect the core elements of the brand.
Keds started in 1916 and grew to be a great brand until getting away from its core. To fix that, it landed Taylor Swift to become its spokesperson for a new campaign called “Ladies First Since 1916,” and returned to its core roots to serve and honor women. That brought the brand back.
Block 3 – Your Goals
One of the primary functions of branding is to align it with goals. Branding brings the goal to life. If the goal is to have happy recurring customers, you have to intentionally build happy impressions with your customers.
Horizon Transport transports trailers. But it also created its eight essentials for service to help guide the organization to meeting its goals. Branding its goals helps it accomplish its goals, and those branded goals are part of its brand.
Block 4 – On the Inside
You do not get much more inside of a person, an organization or brand than the culture of them. You are a part of that culture. Your branded environments are part of that culture.
The best brands in the world pay as much attention to their cultures as they do to their customers, products and services. They understand that building a brand that builds impressions starts on the inside, then goes to the outside as part of their branding and branded environments.
Block 5 – Taking the Stage
Taking the stage simply means making it visible, real, tangible, understood and experienced. It is where the goals, core attributes and higher calling come to life on the outside, after starting on the inside by putting them on a stage to start building your impressions. Your stages are the places where you build your impressions-at home, at work, in the office and in your branded environments.
Branding is what you say about yourself. What others actually say about you determines your brand. And what they say is highly determined by what they experience about you.
Experiences build a brand. As you build your brands, consider that a higher calling, your core attributes, your goals and your culture, all play a part on the stage of building your impressions.
And remember, anyone can make an impression, but building them is the key to success.
Scott Franko is the founder of Franko Design, a resource for graphic design, consulting, marketing, advertising, communication, creative concepts, digital and web-based platforms, strategy, project management, printing, photography, branded environments, master plans, promotional items, apparel, and fulfillment of any application.