We’ve  all said it before… but I’ll say it again.  Brand is so much more than a logo, than a positioning statement. These establish the brand premise and the foundation to build the brand culture.  A true brand must be bold, must stand apart every time it speaks to the consumer. It must always be authentic to its premise. It must reinforce its uniqueness and authenticity with every piece of communication… whether it’s an e-initiative, an ad, outdoor campaign, digital campaign, website, customer letter, greeting card and, yes, even a sign on the wall.

It has always been my belief that every detail that is viewed by the target market is an integral piece of the brand building process. I have always correlated building brand to building a house. The logo and the positioning statement are the foundation of the brand. Then the framework, dry walls, windows all have to be added…. to support and build the  “total vision”  of the house.

brand roi                   

This “building strategy” recognizes the need of investing a little more in say, a business card or a leave behind , and is as integral  as a full scale advertising campaign. Okay, I hear you asking the question… what do I mean by “investing a little more?” This is what I mean:  look at every communication piece and ask the number one question… “How do I make my brand the sole owner of this piece?”  Is it only colour? Is it simply by stating the brand’s offering? Does the initiative I am working on speak to my Brand and communicate my Brand solely… only and truly? Is it moving beyond the mundane, true and tried initiatives that have been done… offering no intrinsic value, no additional wow effect to my target audience? Does it assist in making my brand stand apart…even before they read it…as soon as they see it?

How to evaluate a marketing piece and increase the brand ROI of that piece.  Here’s a simple way that will help you in answering the question.

If  a competitor can replace your logo with theirs, change the colour and the words and use everything else that you’ve developed than you haven’t created a unique brand piece. This question works whether you are evaluating an ad, a flyer, a billboard, a sales aid, a leave behind, brochure, etc…

So how do you create a brand piece that no one can “take” from you. The answer is easy:
Create it so that it reflects your Brand Offering and USP… and I don’t just mean plopping a logo, and making everything in your brand colours (although that is must!). The initiative has to speak to the Brand Culture, position in personality, in format, in copy style. This is the only way that competitors can’t mimics your brand or “take ” your  initiative and make it their own… because they can’t deliver on the promise or on your brand’s USP… only your brand can.

In short: creating brand ROI is the first step in achieving business success.It is obvious that Brand must provide ROI. But what should be the expectation of delivering on brand ROI? Is it reasonable to expect brand ROI immediately?  Is it reasonable because you have a website and a logo to expect that your brand initiatives are done and all other initiatives just need to follow through? Today, more than ever,  halfway measures and “me too look alikes” will damage the performance of you brand and believe me, that will definitely effect the brand ROI.

I look forward to your comments and discussing your point of view.  I invite you to join in the conversation! If you got here via a link from a friend, or Linkedin, I invite you to join the conversation on marketing, branding and design… sign up on  3H hoopla! here.