People often confuse branding with the idea of simply adopting a new logo and plastering it on every piece of collateral material an agency produces – business cards, website, fleet, and so on. Be careful not to confuse brand awareness with brand strength. A brand is the emotional and psychological relationship you have with your customers. Strong brands elicit opinions, emotions, and sometimes physiological responses from customers. Simply looking at an organization’s logo elicits an emotional response. When people view the Mejorando Group logo I want the connection to be one of a valuable partner in the pursuit of getting better all the time; a forward thinking resource. When you see other logos like Google, Southwest Airlines, Pepsi or Nike what immediately comes to mind? Most likely characteristics such as quality, convenience, reliability, and innovation pop in your head.
Governments with strong brands are more successful in executing their mission and the opposite holds true as well; those with weak brands struggle in satisfying their purpose. At its core the brand of government at all levels is to be viewed as the protagonist in the building of a better society. It doesn’t matter what function the government agency has, its role is to be an enabler of an improved quality of life for its customers. So, take a quick look at your agency’s logo and be candid in your assessment of what comes to mind when you see it. Is your agency accomplishing its intent? If you were to ask your customers what the reputation of your agency is, what might be their responses?
Here are three steps you can take to immediately strengthen your organization’s brand:
- Be crystal clear about what business you’re in. “Thanks for calling, we build strong communities.” How’s that for a powerful message to everyone who calls your agency’s offices? Try to state in ten words or less what benefits customer receive for using your programs or services. As Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr., famously said “I would not give a fig for the simplicity this side of complexity, but I would give my life for the simplicity on the other side of complexity.” Concise and compelling messages are essential to brand equity
- Act As Though. Be vigilant in communicating through words and actions the brand as you want it portrayed. Emphasize it to members of your workforce and share it with your customers, elected officials and the media. A healthy level of public pressure can prove effective in keeping people focused on the brand.
- It’s a Journey. You’re never finished with living your brand. When the brand suffers a setback and it will at some point, learn from the experience and move forward. Your brand isn’t about perfection, which isn’t attainable anyway, but it’s about strength and influence. Remember, there is a direct correlation about the credibility of your brand and the amount of influence it has as a tool to build a strong community.
For tips on creating a distinctive employer brand for your agency, read the article “Your Employer Brand: A Talent Magnet” provided under Good Reads in the August issue of Moving Forward.