The first challenge in aligning marketing and branding for clear communications is to create alignment between the business’ brand promise (what you believe you are and how you behave) and the consumer’s values (what they believe about your brand and how they expect you to behave).
The more you work toward brand alignment, the more consumers are intrigued — from being simply interested and curious — to fully committed. The more their values and interests align with your brand, the closer they draw to becoming raving fans.
- Does our business have a focused purpose?
- Is it clear to our customers why our brand matters, and why it has meaning?
- Do our business and brand conduct itself in a manner consistent with our stakeholder’s expectations?
- Does our mission connect with the hearts and minds of our customers?
Never forget: Your brand is the business’ ambassador, and represents the business, its leadership, and employees in every interaction with customers and suppliers.
When your customer’s values align with your brand promise, there is a much greater likelihood of creating an affinity for and fuller commitment to your brand.
To communicate your brand’s purpose with clarity, you must listen to the story people tell themselves about your business, brand, and behavior.
The second challenge is to create clear and aligned communications between the brand’s character or personality:
- If it were a person, how would you describe it, and would people like it?) and the consumer’s perception of its character
- If you asked someone else to describe the brand, would they use the same adjectives as the organization would?)
Intentional positioning of the brand to help form an accurate perception is critical to building authenticity and credibility.
When you position a brand's role as the solution to the problems people want to solve, it helps people form a favorable and memorable impression of your brand. A clear message that positions your brand as a solution is critical to building authenticity and credibility.
- Is our brand perceived as authentic and credible?
- Is it clear to people how we want our brand to be perceived?
- Can we be trusted?
- Are customers confident that we are good stewards of their loyalty and relationship?
- Do people understand what problem our product or service solves?
- Do people understand how our product or service can make their life better?
- Are we top of mind when a problem we solve or product we sell is mentioned?
- Are we different from other businesses that have a similar mission and sell similar products?
Do these considerations mean that you should change your mission or values or promise to sell more products or attract more customers?
Not at all! What it does affect is how you communicate with your customers and how you position the brand in order to engage people who are looking for solutions to problems that your brand can solve.
Don’t forget, everybody brands. Brand alignment is what creates continuity between companies and customers.