What’s the personality of your company? Whether we’re referring to our corporate identity, global shipping services or business products, this question is always top of mind at FedEx, where I’ve worked as a marketing manager for five years. Answering this question in a clear, concise way is vital to establishing any successful brand. You don’t need a huge budget or an advanced degree to create a strong brand identity. But you do need to keep these basics in mind:
1.Make it relevant and meaningful. When selecting your brand elements, don’t shy away from critical thinking. Make decisions based on your products, your target audience and your mission, rather than personal taste alone. Dig deep, examining your brand with an open mind. Work to understand your customers’ needs and align your brand message with those needs.
2.Keep it simple. Meaning and simplicity go hand in hand. Maybe you’ve selected a particular shape, in a particular shade of blue, to help communicate your brand. That might be enough to create a lasting impression without adding another color to the palette, or another symbol to the mix. Like any good artist, a great brand builder knows when to stop.
3.Image is everything. After you’ve shared your brand with the world, it’s best to stick with it for a significant length of time. This will give customers a chance to remember — and eventually connect with — your brand identity. So choose your logo, fonts and colors with care. Are you going for a business persona that’s fun, serious, modern, retro, or all of the above? Do your homework on the latest design principles and plan your image accordingly.
4.Consistency is crucial. Once you’ve determined the set of standards, or “style guide,” for the writing and design of your business materials, it’s best to adhere to those standards in everything from advertising to business cards. Consistency is what separates the professionals from the amateurs, so it’s important to express and deliver on your brand message in a consistent way. Repetition is reputation, after all.
Monica Skipper has led the brand strategy team at FedEx since 2005.
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