Branding is the ubiquitous must-have for everyone these days.

No matter if you’re a business, cause or person you cannot leave the house, office or screen without your brand in place and set for action. It should ooze from every pore of your business.

 

The very feeling of your brand, what it stands for and delivers should be splattered across all levels, layers and platforms where you operate. And that shouldn’t just be outside your business, but also within.

Your people should almost breathe the brand – their actions, words and visions for what they are about and where it’s going should mirror what it stands for and means.

Sound all too much?

Well exhausting at the very least. The important thing to remember is that a brand is not a thing, it’s an idea.

A brand is made up of many elements working together to create a meaningful mark in the minds (and often lives) of people. It’s not one action, image or word.

A brand is crafted over time.

It’s built in layers; with each successive overlay strengthening the total structure.

What you actually see (and is often mistaken for branding) is the decorative attractions added to the structure. That’s the logo, the colours, the graphics, the tagline. They add to it, but don’t make it.

A brand is a promise. You need to know what makes up that promise, and then how you are going to deliver it. And continue to do it, again and again.

It’s a bit like a puzzle or a game of chess – there are many pieces on the board and if they’re fitted together snuggly or moved in the right places then the picture should be complete. A promise should be formed.

But everywhere you turn and look there’s different advice on what to do, how and when to do it to make a brand. That’s why is always good to have a quick list of commandments that you need to remember.

I’ve made the ‘shalts’ and ‘shalt nots’ equal, but really I think there are more shalts. But they are a work on progress – despite the picture above:

 

Thou SHALT:

  1. Be consistent
  2. Keep my promise
  3. Narrowcast my niche
  4. Build a community, not customers
  5. Deliver an experience

 

Thou SHALT NOT:

  1. Scatter my attention
  2. Try to be everything to everybody
  3. Forget the housekeeping
  4. Be dishonest
  5. Stop thinking, questioning and moving

Do you have any to add to the list? 

Image: patkisha

 

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