Successful relationships of any kind are a two-way street; the time and energy dedicated to any relationship cannot be one-sided, and neglecting to fulfill these needs will bear visible consequences. We’ve all learned this lesson in one way or another, whether it be a friendship that fizzled over time, a romantic relationship that didn’t pan out, or a business you often frequented that changed for the worse.
Just like your relationship with your partner, family members and friends, the relationship between you and your brand requires (and deserves) your utmost attention and care to grow and thrive.
Your brand is essentially the unseen soul of what you do as a business. Living out your brand is the expression of your business—it’s what helps shape your company’s reputation in the eyes of the public. From the way your brand looks, sounds and feels to the seemingly trivial details like how you pay your bills and interact with people, all of these touch points eventually become stories that your customers communicate with their peers—your brand perception.
Take this for example. Let's say you withdrew $100,000 from your bank account when you only had $50,000 to withdraw. This action would obviously devastate your company. Something similar happens when you take away from your brand equity, although we tend to have a tougher time measuring this impact. Measurement tools like customer surveys and focus groups are a couple ways to check in with your brand and determine whether or not you are remaining consistent with your branding efforts.
You must show 100% dedication and loyalty to your brand in order to reap the benefits of a successful business—profitability, credibility and longevity in the marketplace. It may not seem like small cutbacks will make a huge impact on your brand, but these changes compound over time and dock from your brand equity. This even goes beyond finances.
Assuredly, your business will take a hit by scaling back on your marketing efforts (less marketing = less awareness = fewer customers), but your brand suffers in other ways other than financial when you dedicate less time, effort and attention to it. Taking care of your brand goes well beyond spending money with a marketing or advertising agency; even more importantly, it's about being honest and upholding your brand's values and business practices. Following through with your brand promises to your customers reaps numerous benefits that money can't necessarily buy: gaining and maintaining friends and allies, higher customer loyalty, a supportive work culture, positive online reviews... the list goes on.
Consider this perspective on upholding brand promises from TIS Lead Brand Strategist Greg Smith:
"The public owes you nothing. You earn trust, you earn appreciation, and you sure as heck earn loyalty. You wouldn’t go into a job interview with a negligent attitude. But every time you interact with the public, you’re in a job interview for their next purchase. Earn it by living out your brand’s values and promises."
Before you make the commitment to a brand, keep in mind that if you want the business to succeed, it is a lifelong commitment. Putting constant effort into your brand isn't an option—it is a must. Brand marketers like the TIS team can do awesome work to help you live out this commitment; however, you will always have to put in the effort on your end, as well.
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