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The ten keys to successful branding

Wil Wylie • 7 min read

Organisations, both small and large, often overlook the importance of branding and it can be a big mistake. However, at Plural Agency, we want you to understand the role that branding will help your organisation, along with the strategies that you can use to increase your chances of success.

Plural Agency is focused on working with organisations to grow their brand. We break down ten keys to successful branding. These include:

1. Purpose

The purpose is the reason why your organisation exists and why you do what you do. To figure out your purpose, you need to look at what problem your organisation is trying to solve and how you can help your customers have a better life.

Once your organisation solves your customers’ problems, they should be satisfied. At that point, your purpose will be about how many people your organisation impacts, not your bottom line.

2. Vision

When thinking about your vision, you should envision your plan for the future. Though you may not realise it, this is essential for creating a brand. You want to project your brand into the future.

To do this, you need to ask yourself some questions:

  • Where do you want your organisation to be in the next few years?
  • What do you want your brand to look like in the future?
  • How are you planning on expanding?
  • What does it mean for you to be successful?
  • When coming up with a vision for the future, it needs to be big enough to inspire you to reach your goals but not too big that people won’t work toward them.

3. Mission

Your mission is your main statement for your business. It needs to show your audience how you intend to help them. It also has to be focused on your purpose and vision. It is your commitment to your audience. You need to make sure that you deliver what you promise while working toward the future of your organisation and brand. When you talk about your mission, you are focusing on how you plan on helping others.

Brands that focus on the value that they offer set the tone for a healthy working culture. People like to know that they are making a difference. It makes them want to work harder, and they are happier doing their job.

4. Values

Your brand values are going to set the morals for the way you do business. Your values also need to be aligned with the other keys of branding. This includes your purpose, mission, and much more.

Just like everything else, you need to show your customers your values through your actions and behaviours.

5. Position

The position your brand takes in the market comes down to your audience, other organisations that you are competing with, and what makes you different from your competitors.

You need to truly understand your audience so you can figure out how to help them (and how to reach them)! Many organisations start by watching their competition to see what they are doing so they can see what works and what isn’t.

6. Personality

Your brand personality needs to be a reflection of who you are, though it also needs to be all about your audience. You need to appeal to them. The reason for this is because your audience wants to see themselves in your brand (at least the best person they can be). If you want to reach your audience, your brand personality has to resonate with them on a powerful level.

7. Tone of voice and language

The language choices that you make (along with the tone that you use) are very important. You really need to think about your audience when you determine the words that you use.

Your language choices and tone need to reflect your audience since you don’t talk the same way to teenagers as you do to grandparents. When you really know and understand your audience, you can use words and the tone that appeals to them.

8. Core message

After taking the time to really figure out who your audience is, along with coming up with a brand that really suits your organisation, you can come up with an effective core message. This will end up being the cornerstone that makes you different from your competition.

Your audience won’t necessarily know much about your brand. Instead, they will only see your core message and differentiator (what makes you stand out from your competition).

Once you come up with a core message, your whole organisation needs to be built around that. It needs to be incorporated into all forms of communication.

Your core message will become your tag line. It needs to be short enough that people are going to remember it and use it, yet long enough to be impactful.

9. Brand identity system

Your brand identity system is more than just your logo. It is many visual elements working together to form the look and feel of your brand. It is more than just your logo. It is multiple visual elements that work together as a team to create a look and feel to create a visual connection and trigger a memory.

The goal of your visual identity is to develop something that people will come to recognise you.

A brand identity system includes:

  • Primary Logo
  • Secondary Logo
  • Lockup Variations
  • Colour Palette
  • Typography
  • Image Style
  • Graphics Library
  • Brand Style Guide

10. Brand expression

If you think about it, your brand expression is your reputation. Because of this, any interaction with your audience is building on that.

Your brand needs to be consistent in everything that you do. Any instances where your organisation isn’t on brand, whether you are making decisions that don’t align with your vision or you aren’t treating your audience right, can really damage your brand.

When you are coming up with a brand and thinking about all of the keys to successful branding (your purpose, mission, values, language, core message, brand identity, etc.) all need to be consistent. You want your audience to know who you are and what you stand for so they can decide whether they want to be in or not!

Are you incorporating these ten keys into your own branding? I’d love to hear how it is working for you.

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