Don't forget to cross the t's and dot the i's...

How many times did your teacher or parents tell you that when you were little? It's still important, and not just in handwriting. If you asked someone what a brand was, more than likely you’d receive the same answers; the company logo, the tagline, or the odd one who thinks he’s funny by saying “the stamp on a cow.” There are a million definitions of a brand, too many to cover in one blog post. But how do you represent that brand and why does it matter?

The number one rule; BE CONSISTENT.

“It’s not what you say about yourself that gets results, it’s what others say about you that builds positive brand awareness” @

What does it mean to be a seamless brand? Basically, seeing it through from beginning to end. The ‘brand’ does not only include the logo, but also includes the feelings and emotions a consumer gets about that brand, and I think we’d all prefer those to be positive. What does this have to do with online communications? How many times have you seen this...

And closed the webpage?
I do. It puts me off. In today’s age, everyone wants everything now. And you could lose a key customer, just by not crossing your t’s and dotting your i’s.. which is just lazy. One of my favourite Error pages is on
http://www.bluedaniel.com/404 purely for the creativity. I’d stay on that site just for that. But perhaps a better example would be River Island.


Not only does it make you giggle, but it directs you to other products and keeps the logo visible. There is no question as to what site you’re on and what else you could buy; pushing your consumers towards other products, there’s no question of an all-round experience here.

It’s all about the whole package.

Would you buy this

If it arrived in this


Probably not..

The same applies for a brand. Even more so in a recession. You need consumers to remain loyal. And who has the best consumer loyalty? It would have to be Apple wouldn’t it. No price packages, no offers... one new phone model a year. And they can get away this, even in a recession because their consumers are nothing if not loyal. Where they once aimed for the “technology geeks” or “creative audience”, they are now completely mainstream, sought after and desired. I recently overheard a couple in the carphone warehouse, who, with no prejudice intended, more than likely could not afford an iPhone, and they were explaining to the salesman that they were skipping their holiday to Butlins this year to get this phone. It’s a common fact that the price drops as soon as the new edition is released, a year after the one prior, and people will still literally queue up outside the stores to get the new edition.

And with rumours racing around the industry that they are intending on releasing a cheaper model phone to accommodate for a wider audience, their only concern may well be now, to ensure they do not have a repeat of Burberry. After being a prestigious brand, it’s more often than not now associated with "lower-class" people in hats or scarves. To recover from this, they've more or less dropped what was once a popular pattern. And their brand reputation still hasn't quite recovered. Watch out Apple.

Mike Crossman gave us a lecture related to this topic and left us with this;
Price + Product = Loyalty, whereas Loyalty + Experience = Advocacy

Whilst working at Merchant Marketing Group, I had to complete a brand audit. I’m not going to name the client it was for, simply because their consistency was dire. Across the nation, they had no brand colours, they had several logos in use, the promotional material used varied from pencils, folders, leaflets to post-it pads. It had utterly no consistency. Obviously with national brands, you expect some discrepancy in different districts, but short of the name, I wouldn’t have known it was the same company. They presented completely different ideals and publications. I would have thought it simpler, cheaper and more affective to have a national publication and a regional one. There is little to no point communicating with the consumers if they get sent different information as soon as they cross a county line. PR – it matters... and this is simply not true.

"Your brand is your name, your logo, your trade dress. You own it. There are clearly written laws to protect it. It is tangible enough to put a price on it. And yet, an entire generation of marketers has found a way to obscure the obvious, to make the brand more fantastic, to make it hard enough to understand that you need consultants to help you figure it out." Business Week

And lastly, I’m going to leave with you with Fleurie Forbes-Martin’s fantastic acronym:

Brilliance
Requires
Attention
N
Detail

Jessica North

Author & Editor

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