Picture this: you walk into a house that’s for sale. On the left, you see a thoughtfully designed living room. Instantly, you start forming an idea about the people who live there. Then you glance to the right, and see an office in total disarray—dog toys strewn on the floor, papers everywhere, stacks of books. Yes, this could anyone’s home office, even mine…actually, it is mine. But I digress. What do those contrasting sights tell you, a prospective buyer, about the condition of the place? Does it hint that some parts of the house are well-cared for, while others are ignored? Are you left questioning if the place is truly for YOU?
So it goes with brands, too. The most solid logo and tagline won’t uphold your brand if your messaging isn’t just as strong. If the language in your ads, on your website, on social media and even your emails’ out-of-office message tell your story in a slightly different way, that’s bad. As in a long-horizontal-crack-in-your-home’s-foundation kind of bad.
And let’s not forget the people who who represent your brand. When asked to explain what your organization or product or city or whatever is all about, do they answer the same way, and on message? Or do they wing it and put their own spin on the story? If it’s the latter, they are undermining your brand every time they open their mouths. Ouch, your brand’s foundational crack just got wider.
The takeaway? Details shape — and sustain — your brand. And your messaging is the carrier of those details.
Just like that house making its debut on the market, your brand gets one chance to make a first impression. So get your brand story right and tight. Stick to the message, follow the brand guidelines. Make sure everyone on the team understands why it matters, and is willing and able share it in the very same way. Put your brand’s house in order, mind the details, and you’ll stand out … right from the get-go.