11/26/13

HOW TO: Live Your Brand

This is part three of a three-part series on living your brand.

Now that you've created a definition for your brand and hired a professional to create it, it's time to live it. Have I mentioned that your brand isn't your logo? It's EVERYTHING!

Be Sexy

Your industry may be very conservative. You may even be in an industry where everyone is doing the latest thing. Stop trying to be like everyone else and get outside your box - be sexy to your industry. See what businesses are doing in other industries and figure out how you can apply it to yours. This goes for your website, marketing campaigns, content, employee benefits, and social media. And PLEASE...

Be Yourself

When you set up your office, write an email, pick up the phone, walk into a meeting - be yourself. When you hire, write your employee manual, set up benefits - be yourself. When you onboard clients, kickoff projects, and ultimately have to fire clients - be yourself.  

There is no corporate rulebook.

Your brand shouldn't be like anyone else's. Their brand shouldn't be like yours. No one can be you so stand out by being yourself. And don't hide behind a corporate rulebook - there isn't one. Not to sound cliche, but pave your own road. 

Be Branded

Every single touchpoint of your business is your brand. As you grow, your brand will evolve and change but its essence should always remain the same. Every employee you hire should fit the branded culture and add something to it. Every email, marketing material, written or spoken word, tweet, post... everything that goes out from your brand should be consistent. 

Set up guidelines for in-person and electronic conduct, social media use, dress code, and processes. The guidelines don't have to match what your industry has set. Make them fit your brand. Give your team all of the tools they need to live your brand. If you can't provide consistency, you can't expect it.

Live It

If your business is just a way to make money, go get a job. If you're in business to feed your ego, quit. The only real way to build a great company is to live and breathe your brand. It's not about you, it's about the business. If you live it, your team will. If your whole team lives it, your clients will too. 

In the end, the greatest companies know just what it means to live their brand. It's not just a business or a means to an end. It's a living, breathing thing that needs their utmost attention. Live your brand and you'll see just how great your business can become.

Read Good to Great
to find out how years of data support living your business brand.


Living Your Brand: 3-Part Series
#1: HOW TO: Define Your Brand
#2: HOW TO: Create Your Brand