Think of a brand as a person; they have their own personality and individual characteristics that make them unique, they constantly move into new directions and take new paths in order to develop and grow. The personality and characteristics that make up a brand is what can be called the brand’s DNA. It’s the different strands of a business bonded together to make up a brand that stands out amongst its competitors.
Successful brands use their DNA to differentiate themselves within the industry that they operate in; BMW aims for a luxury market, whereas Ford aims for the everyday customers. Your brand DNA makes you easily identifiable; it should be clear and consistent, underlining your brands’ core values.
Over time, businesses change. Whether it’s through a hiring new staff, a merger, downsizing, moving into new markets or refocusing on old markets, business will develop and create new business models and strategies. With continual changes to your organisation and moving in new directions, brand identities can be lost in a complex web of strategies and markets, leaving an organisation unsure of its position.
In these tough economic times, it’s important for companies to identify their brand DNA so they can demonstrate to customers who they are, what they stand for, and not only emphasise what they promise to deliver to customers, but actually deliver it effectively too.
There are important questions an organisation should ask in order to identify their brand DNA;
How do you want to be perceived?
When considering a re-brand, it’s essential to consider how you were viewed as an organisation in the past, how you are seen now, and how you would like to be perceived in the future. Your brand is your personality, so if you are drastically changing what you’ve set out to achieve or reinforcing your message from previous marketing campaigns, you need to make sure that your brand reflects this. • What is your target market? It’s great to be able to move into new markets and cater for the vast majority when you’re an organisation, but it’s important not to forget who actually buys your product or uses your service. Have more than one target market? Great! But make sure you tailor your copy and content accordingly through your different marketing materials.
What are your core values?
When you started out as an organisation, what was it that you were trying to achieve? Have you achieved this, and developed from there? Or did you completely miss the mark and move into other areas? Whatever your core values are, make sure you communicate them effectively through your brand and integrate this into all aspects of your marketing campaign.
What differentiates you from competitors?
It’s all very well using competitors as a benchmark, and using their ideas and successes to boost your sales, but you still need to find your own unique identity that will give customers a reason to choose you. Markets are becoming more and more competitive, giving customers the ability to easily switch between brands. Give people a reason to use your company over another’s and make sure this message is loud and clear throughout your brand.
Your brand DNA is not a complicated code or blueprint that you need to interpret in order to understand it, it’s simply to recognise what you stand for as a company. Harley Davidson, for example, was struggling on the border of bankruptcy until they improved the quality of their product to match their brand, McDonalds became associated with obesity and bad health and switched to serving salads and reinventing the look of their stores to create a more family orientated vibe, and let’s not forget to mention Old Spice, who hardly anyone had heard of until they became a viral sensation and the words “I’m on a horse” were instantly recognizable.
By keeping close to their core values and recognizing their brand DNA, these brands have recreated a better version of themselves. Follow in their footsteps, and your re-brand will be a success.
Article by Sarah
Sarah writes on behalf of Fluid Branding a promotional products specialist. Fluid Branding have thousands of promotional product from promotional umbrellas to calculators, from promotional calendars. Fluid Branding have something for everyone.