A brand can become a company’s most valuable business asset. When effectively managed, brands don’t depreciate. Brands can also become a truly unmatched source of differentiation. There are few ways to provide inimitable differentiation today, and a brand is one of them. But it requires careful cultivation, constant dedication to its health, a long-term vision, and time.
Brands require dedication to overall well-being. Effective brand managers help build a healthy brand, actively take care of the brand and practice preventative care. They don’t wait for sickness or an injury to assess brand health.
Take a moment now using this brand health checklist to think further about the current state of your brand.
The Healthy Brand Is…
√ Consistent – across all touch points, including the website, the sales team, the product brochure, the customer service hotline, and more.
√ Fully integrated – into the entire organization. The brand is a part of everything the organization communicates and does.
√ Memorable – the healthy brand creates powerful connections with consumers to leave a lasting impression.
√ Recognizable – an identity that can be recognized in many contexts, the healthy brand identity is so strong that it can be recognized by anyone, anywhere.
√ Differentiated – the healthy brand stands apart from the competition and rises above the noise because of a truly unique offering.
√ Relevant – people resonate with the brand, its personality, attributes, and values.
√ Meaningful – the concept of the brand resonates with people on a deeper, emotional level.
√ Focused – the brand value proposition, the positioning, segmentation, and target audiences are all aligned with the brand strategy and overall brand objectives.
√ Authentic – the healthy brand is never misleading, lives and breathes its values, and is never dishonest or deceptive.
√ Protected – the logo, tagline, and other brand assets are protected by the company and legal team.
√ A driver of shareholder value – the healthy brand contributes to people’s perception of the company’s overall value.
√ Embraced and supported by all stakeholders – the healthy brand is a total company effort with buy-in from all key stakeholders.
√ Commanding a consistent price – people are willing to pay for the brand over others, and even when it costs more than substitute products or services.
√ Supported by brand loyalists – the healthy brand makes long-term relationships with consumers who will support the brand financially and boost its reputation with positive word of mouth.
√ Nurtured – the healthy brand requires care, nutrition, and the right environment to grow. It doesn’t sprout up overnight.
There’s a huge possibility for your brand, even if it isn’t performing in all of these categories at the moment. You don’t need to know all the answers; you just need to know where you want to go.
Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in January 2014 and has been updated for accuracy and comprehensiveness.
WHAT YOU’LL LEARN:
- What branding can do for your bottom line
- How to create personas for better targeting and more powerful brand connections
- How to identify inconsistencies between your brand positioning and how your brand is perceived
- How to keep your brand fresh
- How to create a strong brand and build brand value
- How brands influence the decision-making process
- How to prevent your company from commoditization
- How to create a brand that becomes an invaluable intangible asset