If you’ve been to a state or county fair you’ve probably seen the “house of mirrors” attraction. The one that features row after row of mirrors all stacked at angles designed to give a different view or perspective no matter which way you look. They are confusing and disconcerting (on purpose).
Apply this idea to your brand. A few weeks ago while working with a client during a brand workshop, an employee noted “we’ve got so many different brands our members are bound to like at least one of them.” While she said this in jest (and knowing a better and more unified brand was on the way for her credit union as a result of the workshop) the point hit home.
House of Mirrors? Flavor of the month? So many brand personalities they’re bound to like one of them? This is not the way to run an effective brand. At best it will confuse consumers and at worst it will turn them way. Neither are good options for your bottom line.
While building a relevant and lasting brand, many factors come into play but one of the easiest to remember goes back to the Three Cs. When analyzing the state of your brand, ask yourself if it hits on these three key points:
- Clarity. Your brand must be clear about what it is and what it is not. This helps distinguish you from the competition. Disney is all about family fun and a wow experience. Harley-Davidson empowers a lifestyle of freedom and self-expression. What does your brand say about you?
- Consistency. Your brand must always be what it claims to be. Does your brand promise speedy loan decisions? Then you’d better deliver speedy loan decisions. Friendly staff? They’d better provide that. World peace and a fresh minty taste? Then you brand must deliver on those claims.
- Constancy. Your brand must always be visible. This isn’t to say you must buy and own every media outlet in your markets (that’s impractical and unwise). But your brand does have to be visible in front of both staff and your consumers in the way they live it.
While a great deal goes into building a successful brand, the Three Cs are a good starting point of reference. They can help ensure your brand covers the basics and doesn’t drift into “hall of mirrors” territory. No one likes a creepy carnival, anyway.