Branding Marketing & Sales

Brand Alignment – Unleashing your Brand’s True Potential

Russell Britton
Written by Russell Britton

A strong brand is about more than the products or services offered. The sum of a brand’s intangible elements can be what allows it to own the market. And working with a great brand identity agency can help you get there.

A wonderful world.

Aligning your brand affects how the brand is perceived. When brands are successful, they speak to our emotions, allowing them to be perceived as more than simply a gym or yogurt company.

As you read this, think of any brand you really like, perhaps it’s the people that make that reusable cup you’re sipping coffee from. What is it you like about the cup? Why have you bought cups for all your family & friends for their birthdays since you got one?

Sure, you like the cups themselves. But it’s the entire brand experience that really has you banging the drum of advocacy. It’s the pretty packaging it came in. The user-friendly website with a warm, memorable colour palette. It’s the customer service that replaced your cup when it broke within 24 hours after a quick, friendly chat with a guy called Greg. None of that is an accident. That is brand experience. Here lies your competitive edge, brand equity, the thing that customers will remember and tell tales about.

Doing the same dance

Brand alignment – whether in branding, retail branding, product branding or otherwise – provides the framework that guides how an organisation behaves and presents itself. Greg knows that when he answers the phone at Reusable Cups HQ, he needs to have a certain tone. There’s language he should use and a protocol to follow. He sends you an email following your conversation that’s as gregarious as he is; the internal copywriter who wrote it sounds just like Greg. Even the email signature visuals remind you of the warm colours of their online store and how seamless it was and the affable banter that Greg so seamlessly rattled off. It was seamless because of good brand management. Greg has a plan to follow, as did that copywriter and the designer, too.

When the brand is strong, everyone takes part in representing the company. This shared responsibility means more consistency and a deeper overall brand experience for consumers. However, brand alignment doesn’t exclusively affect the people employed by the brand or the consumers buying into it. If you work with intermediaries like distributors or resellers, then it’s important they follow your brand guidelines as well when they represent your company.

Reusable Cups R Us are doing well. So well in fact, you don’t even need to go to the website to buy one anymore. Every café worth their salt are selling them. But there’s a problem. Some café owners are making signs for the cups with an old logo, one that was dropped because it was… well… ugly. But you’ve been telling all your friends how amazing this cup is and they take one look at that ugly sign and they don’t get why you’re so excited. “They’re just cups!” your friends tell you. You feel upset, and Greg’s got his work cut out for him now. The brand promise has been broken by inconsistency. This is the responsibility of brand management – consistency and promises kept. It can mean the difference between gaining brand advocates and losing them.

Build the box to think outside it.

Your brand is like a lattice to accommodate the vine of your company’s growth. As you grow, new opportunities will bloom. Perhaps you want to put a new product or service under your brand’s umbrella. With a well aligned brand, you’ll experience a smoother introduction of said product to market. Because your overarching brand is already trusted and liked thanks to Greg killing it on the telephone. Nice one, Greg!

Then there’s creative. With a clear framework for how you communicate, you can begin producing advertising and content that’s compelling, even boundary pushing, whilst never straying into irrelevance or obscurity. You could start expanding your network too, teaming up with influencers that fit within your brand’s aesthetic, key message and values.

The world is now your sleekly branded oyster.

Beyond all the aforementioned elements of brand management, there’s the symbiosis created by the elements as a whole. All the individual parts feed each other, resulting in the ecosystem of your brand. There’s a journey to be had for your company. And it starts with brand alignment.

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About the author

Russell Britton

Russell Britton

Russell Britton is the digital director at uberbrand, Sydney based branding agency. He is an award-winning creative leader with over 15 years of experience in managing the planning and creative execution of through the line brand experiences. His passion drives him to connect with brands to give an experience that will change perceptions and create action.