Every corporate identity has a lifespan. Every brand is born, lives a lifetime, and comes to an end. How long will yours live? Before you hand this over to fate, read on to learn just how much power you have in creating a corporate identity that outlives this decade, this economic trend, this industry trend…and even you.
No matter the environment your corporate identity is born into, you can count on one thing: the conditions surrounding it will change – continually and without regard for its values, vision, or mission.
The Duty of a Corporate Identity to Survive
There will be times when you think something’s gotta give, and I can guarantee you that it won’t be the market, consumer trends, economic climates…your brand and corporate identity must take on the burden of evolution.
Just as the species that exist on earth today had to adapt to changing weather patterns, shifts in food sources, the introduction of dangerous predators, and more, your brand will be asked (and expected) to change in order to maintain its status in the minds of consumers. If it’s not created with that innate flexibility, it will go the route of the dinosaurs.
One key to accomplishing a dynamic lifespan for any corporate identity is brand management that not only reacts to environmental shifts, but that works to see them coming. This preparedness will put a brand on the leading edge of trends, and will extend its lifespan.
Another key element is the power of memory. Early on, when your corporate identity is young, it is imperative that consumers establish positive memories that endear them to your brand. They will return, again and again, to purchase your brand in order to relive those memories. When industry shifts do occur (and they will), those people will be reluctant to leave your brand behind. They will allow your brand a bit of catch-up time, and will be more forgiving than if you never facilitated those memories through experiences with your brand.
So, what can you do, from today and into the future, to increase the likelihood of your brand having a long, healthy life? Feed it right. Nurture it. Ensure that it’s equipped roll with the punches of this big, bad world.
Here are some specific pieces of corporate branding advice from How to Build a Brand to get you started:
- Always keep one eye on the market and your industry, with the intention of finding common threads between it and your brand’s USP. A common mistake made by new brand managers is that their brand will be powerful enough to cause environmental industry changes. Surely, your brand can affect the market, and we want to set you up for that kind of success; however, hoping that it will happen in enough time to save your budding brand from an early death is a tragic sort of thinking.
- Know your ideal client inside and out. Know what types of emotions will spur him or her to make the types of decisions that will move your brand forward. Know what types of experiences will elicit those emotions. When you create experiences that are memorable, and make your corporate identity a big part of those experiences, loyal clients will work to keep your brand alive. For them, your brand dying will be indicative of a part of themselves – and piece of their history – dying. Remember when Hostess threatened to pull the Twinkie? Need I say more?
- Avoid taking on the attitude that your corporate identity will evolve, if you ever deem that to be necessary. Firstly, it will not be you who dictates the need: it will be consumers in general, your target audience, the market, your industry, and even your industry niche. Secondly, go in with the assumption that evolution will be necessary. Plan for it.
- Know when it’s time to re-brand. A corporate identity may never need re-branding. Another corporate identity may go through several re-branding processes. Every brand and every market is unique, and we recommend that you consult with a branding expert if you feel that your brand is losing steam. It may need surgery; it may just need some vitamins.
Whether your corporate identity is a newly born, or you fear that it may be fast-approaching a bitter end, contact us. Our corporate identity and corporate branding experts are ready with the advice you need to determine your next, most effective, move. We’re only a phone call away, at +44 (0) 208 123 6776.
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