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Authentic Expressions

By: Aniko Hill
Posted: June 9, 2008, from the June 2008 issue of GCI Magazine.

page 4 of 6

Branding is a truly holistic process. A successful campaign is consistent through all brand touch points—whether a customer is using a product, talking to a service representative or making a purchase on a Web site. Brand communication on both visual and verbal levels must feel familiar to have the desired effect. Packaging, copywriting, printed collateral, Web sites, environment and photography style must have a consistent voice and tone for a brand campaign to work in harmony. It is critical that once brand identity is established, it is executed across all communications—both internally and externally. One weak link can have a huge impact on consumer confidence.

Branding Pitfalls

Establishing a new brand or re-branding an existing company should be an energizing and positive experience. But just like remodeling a house, there are always hiccups that can happen along the way and maintenance will be ongoing. Beware of the following pitfalls:

1. Starting without a plan.

Marketing and brand strategies need to be mapped out before work begins. Otherwise, it can be costly—both with time and money—as it is easy to get off track. Strategy is like a blueprint for your brand campaign—without it, there is no solid foundation for the brand-building process.