Confused and Afraid?
- Confused about what identity is? (Branding?? Image??)
- Don’t know how to proof the value of identity/branding?
- Confused about the financial and legal aspects (licensing, trademark law)?
- Don’t know whom to turn to for help?
- Fearful of paying too much for identity?
- Fearful of paying a lot of money for branding strategy that is all theory?
- Afraid of not being able to execute the plan because you lack know-how and resources?
- Fearful that someone will foist their personal “taste” on you?
Losing customers to the competition, employees wasting time being “creative”?
- Are you losing sales because your projected identity doesn’t invoke a “buy“ feeling in your target customers?
- Are you losing business because your employees are creating counter-productive perceptions through web sites, correspondence and how they answer the phone?
- Are ypou losing customer recognition because your messages (advertising, sales people, phone conversations, signs, actions and dealings) don’t match each other?
- Are you losing time because you are dealing with “branding experts” who don’t know and/or don’t care about how you implement what they have created?
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Brand Tutorial Home Page
Identity Basics: Definitions
What’s an Identity System?
“Branding in Six Lessons”
Don’t fix what is not broken. Many companies think a new name and logo will enhance awareness and reputation instead of examining why there current identity and/or brand languishes in obscurity. There are good reasons for changing a company's name - merger, expansion, new business strategy - but starting from “zero” will always be more difficult and more costly than making the most of what you have. That's why you should begin to identify your company’s identity and branding issues in answering first the questions dealing with the practical before moving on to the tactical and strategic issues.
What are your practical issues?
- There is no understanding of the legal aspects of identity (lack of trademark search and protection).
- There is no understanding of the financial aspects of identity (no licensing contracts).
- There are no policies and no guidelines for applying the identity.
- The identity guidelines we have are theoretical and impractical.
- The identity guidelines we have are being ignored.
- The identity guidelines are only in the hands of a few “experts” instead of instantly available to anybody
- The suppliers are unaware of any guidelines concerning the identity (sign makers, advertisers)
- No central repository of visual and verbal assets. (symbol, logo, company stock images, photographs, mission statement, vision statement, tag lines, etc.)
What are your tactical issues?
- Company messages are created with a narrowly defined purpose independent of the corporate identity.
- There is no relationship between company names and product names.
- Product brand names are created in a fashion unrelated to the company as a whole.
- Employees are being inappropriately “creative” (expressing themselves) with company messages.
- Identity and Customer Relationship Management systems (CRM) are on a separate track.
- Thousands of customers and potential customers a day get the wrong impression because technical personnel (IT) are put in charge of communication because they are the only ones who know how the technology works (websites, e-mail, voice mail, CRM, phone menus, telemarketing computer messaging).
- Company identity does not flow through the suppliers and distributors. Others do not represent you like you would represent yourself.
- Training is expensive and has little effect.
- Identity is defined as: “The logo”
What are your strategic issues?
- The perceived (by customers and employees) identity is not aligned with the strategic direction.
- Our customers don’t understand what we do, why and how.
- Employees complain about not getting direction from the corner office.
- There is no shared understanding among employees.
- Employees don’t work congruently toward the same goals
- Employees say they can’t perform to their potential
- Employees aren’t performing to their potential