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The Three Ingredients of a Mind-Blowing Brand

By Percy Smith

· communication,Branding,Culture

Your brand is your logo, right? Right.

But it’s also a whole lot more than that. Here, we’ve condensed it into 3 sections, which, if you complete each one fully, will help your brand rocket skywards.

Using this easy-to-remember ICC formula, you can build and shape the brand you’ve always wanted:

  • I – Identity
  • C – Conduct
  • C - Culture

Let’s dive into this, shall we?

I – Identity

The face of your business. Everyone can see this and will immediately form a judgement about your company just based on this alone! This means it’s absolutely essential to make sure of the following:

  • You have a professional, clear and relevant logo
  • You have a modern, mobile friendly, website
  • You have social media accounts (Twitter, Facebook) kept up to date with relevant information
  • All marketing collateral – from brochures to business cards and email signatures – perfectly match the rest of your brand Identity
  • The Identity must be kept up to date and relevant to appeal to the changing tastes of your target market – subtle updates are the name of the game here, usually at least once every three years 

We can’t stress enough the importance of having the same design across all literature, websites and other promotional products. This ensures your business image is kept professional in the eyes of everyone who sees it. Anything that you produce should be so recognisable to your market that they instinctively associate it with you, even if your logo is not prominently visible.

Many businesspeople invest heavily in design, thinking it’s the most important piece of the branding exercise. However, it’s the LEAST important of the three points listed here. Why? Because it’s the easiest to change – the identity can transform many, many times for the same company (just look at some of these examples) but unless all three parts of the ICC formula are followed, it will be a fruitless exercise.

C – Conduct

“They may forget what you said — but they will never forget how you made them feel.” — Carl W. Buehner

This is the personality of your business. This is what anyone you deal with will see, hear, and experience. They have been attracted by your Identity and now they want more. To keep pulling prospects into the warm embrace of your organisation, you must make sure you:

  • Do what you say you do (Imperative!)
  • Treat everyone you deal with in the same way, with respect to your Brand Identity
  • Make sure your customer service is memorably awesome

After the first transaction with your business, a client (or potential) is going to do one of two things:

Go, or stay.

If they go, what will they do? Apart from not coming back, they will more likely than not spread bad news about your business.

If they stay, not only will they keep coming back for more, if you continue to impress then they’ll tell all their friends how awesome you are!

It’s imperative everyone feels that they are being treated the same – even if you know they may never buy, give them an awesome experience! You never know what may come of it.

In summary, then, Conduct is extremely important to your business, to grow by repeat orders and referrals, but it’s still not the most important of the three parts. That honour belongs to….

C – Culture

"High achievement always takes place in the framework of high expectation." — Charles Kettering

This is the heart of your business. This is where everything lies – the idea of the Identity, the roots of the Conduct. Through your whole organisation, everything and everyone is affected by your Culture, either positively or negatively. If you have a negative or vague brand Culture, then it’s doubtful your brand will grow.

Some people like to think a great culture in a company will come as a matter of course, that it will develop over time, as long as they parrot meaningless corporate buzzwords.

Well, they’re dead wrong. A great culture has to be worked on, strained for, and nurtured. You don’t have to tell anyone what you want the culture to be – that’s not the point, but you just need to put the building blocks in place to start it off. Once you have started, keep building on these blocks, and only then will your culture naturally evolve as your employees gravitate towards it and it becomes habitual.

So, what can you do to start off your great culture?

  • Be hugely creative
  • Treat staff like family
  • Work hard, play hard
  • Expect the best from everyone

Value contributions from everyone. Even the cleaner has something to contribute to the Culture if you can make room for it.

Be creative – make sure your Identity stays relevant so it’s is still as eye-catching as the day you first designed it.

But that’s not all – be creative in your approach to any task or challenge and you will see massive benefits in taking a stand-back view. Get random people from your organisation to help – you’ll be amazed at where some of the best solutions can come from.

Staff. They are your most valuable asset – treat them like family. You don’t want them to leave. They may have built up fantastic rapport with customers, and if they go, you risk losing that customer as today more than ever, people buy from people, not businesses.

Work hard, play hard – reward your staff, make them happy and they in turn will provide great results for your business as they will want to do their best for you.

Treat everyone equally – don’t hold favourites – if you bring in a birthday gift for one, you do it for all. Otherwise, you risk losing that favourite person as they may be shunned and bullied (Similar to that ‘teacher’s pet’ situation we all remember from school!)

Finally, think of how you want your culture to be shaped. Think of how you can make your staff happier and reward them every opportunity you can. Even a simple ‘thank you’ goes a massive way in creating a fantastic culture. But ultimately the culture is what YOU make it. If you let it run its course, you could well find a disengaged and demotivated team. But if you invest in your employees, they will invest in your customers, who will invest in your brand.

And only then, will you be the proud owner of a mind-blowing brand. Now, all you have to do is keep it that way!

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