Last week, I was on a call with a colleague who was recently hired as department head at a premier college within their continuing education division.
At 4 months in, she’s dealing with a bit of culture shock.
And who can blame her?
There’s a massive correction happening all throughout higher education and adult learning. The stakes are high for schools and they must learn, adapt and evolve, now. But they also must continue to deliver on their ‘promise’ for the students that still rely on them.
As she rattled off all her responsibilities (and challenges tied to each), she was very surprised by how little her ‘seasoned and senior’ colleagues understood the psychology of marketing and the importance of consistency in branding.
I’ve heard this before.
For example, she was surprised to learn how different departments ‘go rogue,’ as she put it, with external messaging (without a strategy), colors, typefaces and other related materials, not aligned to the school's style guide.
I’ve heard this before too.
Out of urgency and necessity? Probably. But I am sure they mean well and are not trying to hurt their school. On the contrary, they care but may need some training, guidance and support - or better yet an expert to guide their brand strategy.
I’ve definitely heard this before, but not just in academia.
What I'm describing is a typical conversation that I’ve had many times with busy leaders managing multiple ends of their operations, including marketing strategy, design and communications.
Whether it is a lack of understanding, interest or in-house expertise, Bounce can help.
This edition of Bounce Ahead is focused on one of the foundations of marketing—the importance of a brand strategy and delivering on your customer promise, each and every time.
This one is dedicated to you, friend who shall remain nameless! (Your secret is safe with me!)
Read on, to learn more about the differences of a brand strategy vs. branding and how 2 global firms overcame major crises by leaning into their brand promises.
Bounce Marketing & Consulting
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Something to Consider
It’s all about how they listened to their customers, protected their reputations and aligned customer sentiment with their brands.
So, what is a company’s brand, how is it different from a company logo and why does it matter?
Let’s get into it.
What is a brand?
A brand is a company’s promise to its customers. It is that feeling that immediately enters someone’s mind when they think about your company.
According to Jeff Bezos, the founder of Amazon, the true strength of a brand is what people say about your company when you are not in the room.
Think about that for a minute.
Do you know what would be said
about your company if you left the room?
But let’s remember, a brand promise is simply a collection of words that tell the world what your company is all about. Where it gets challenging is aligning your company’s actions with those words, at every step of the customer’s experience.
Developing your company’s brand is a process and there are many ways that you can influence it. But you need a strategy.
Customer perception is directly tied to how consistent your company builds, promotes, sells and services its products. This includes how your brand shows up in its advertising, social media, website, emails—even down to how your company answers incoming customer inquiries and shares information about its products and services.
It is all encompassing. Every member of your company has a role to play to bring your brand promise to life.
Take a moment to think about the brands you are most loyal to and continue coming back to.
When you think of them, a feeling or a sensation always comes to mind, right? (That is by design, and it is very strategic, when done correctly.)
We know since building brands is what we do at Bounce. All day, every day.
Ok, so what’s a logo?
Your logo is a designed image with a set of colors, fonts, symbols and messaging that uniquely represent your company. That is it, really.
A well-designed logo matters, of course, and is an important part of a company’s overall brand identity. A company’s brand identity includes its logo, photos, videos, copy, tone of voice, etc.,-- everything that is used to display and tell the world about your company contributes to its brand identity. And showing up with consistency gives you control of your brand’s identity and gets your audience to know your branding.
Why does this matter?
Any gap between a company’s brand promise and customer perception can create misalignment of a customer’s expectations. And when a customer feels they are not getting what they expect, trust is broken, and your company has a problem.
Unhappy customers + bad word of mouth = potential loss of business and a tarnished brand.
In both cases, they:
- used the (negative) public response to restate their purpose
- held themselves accountable
- communicated their intent to improve
- moved quickly to provide their customers with real, tangible changes
All in the name of keeping their brand promise, reputation and brand intact. This is all in our BOUNCE technique. Our secret sauce to manage a brand’s strategy. But that’s a conversation we can have one-on-one. Invite me for coffee!
For many companies, shaping and consistently delivering on their brand promise is challenging since it requires a consistent investment of time, resources and expertise. It is why companies choose to work with Bounce to help them manage this for them since they lack the in house, know how.
If you’d like to learn how Bounce can help you deliver on your company’s brand promise, send us a note to get started.
Count on us to help you Bounce onto a great idea.
Bounce at Work
(Small) Businesses We Love
Luigi's in New Hyde Park
At Bounce, whenever we are in the mood for excellent Italian food, we always think of the home-cooking provided by Luigi’s in New Hyde Park. (It’s right on the border of Queens, we are not cheating on Queens, seriously!)
From the moment you enter the restaurant, you are greeted with a smiling face and an old-school New York vibe, where the walls are adorned with black and white pictures from the ‘old country.’
When we eat there, we always feel like we are visiting a friend's house.
Luigi’s is an independent local restaurant, celebrating its 30th year in business. And it's not just the incredible food that keeps us coming back. They truly understand the power of their brand and they always deliver on their promise.
Things Worth Sharing
- A brand exists in the minds of consumers. That’s it. Nowhere else. No matter how clever your brand messaging is, it can’t alter the brand. Power Reviews assembled their list of 12 of the best brand promise examples they’ve seen so far. This list is spot on!
- According to the University of Southern California, ‘Effective brands have a strong identity that consumers can relate to. Much of this is driven by a deep understanding of psychology and brand marketers must develop the ability to make a mental connection with customers.’ Check out this article to learn more about how you can influence how your customers relate to your brand!
- Effective branding is not limited to your customers! Your company’s brand matters to your employees too. Check out this great article from Review Trackers to learn more about employee branding and why your company needs it too!
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