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  • Writer's pictureSylvie Barr

The 3 Pillars of a Healthy Brand

Updated: Oct 19, 2020

Pillars of an ancient temple rising in the blue sky

A healthy brand - read in ‘brand’ the imprint your business has in your customers’ minds - is a brand that sticks in people’s minds for the right reasons.

Any healthy brand is supported by 3 key pillars.

In my last blog, ‘Out of sight, Out of mind’, we spent quite a bit of time on the first pillar of your brand: Visibility.

As lockdown and the global Covid-19 crisis created a huge shift in the way people interact, we saw a massive surge in online usage.

From everyone learning to go on Zoom, to parents getting onto Tik Tok with their kids hiding away in total shame, the way to remain highly visible for any brand/business has been a changing game.

Today I’d like to take you through the other 2 pillars of a healthy brand: Familiarity and Relevance.

On Familiarity

It’s great for your brand/business to be regularly out there, but do people have a clear idea of what your offer is? Take this analogy for example: you used to see the same people on your way to work before lockdown, or you seem to see the same faces when you do your weekly shop.

These people are quite visible to you, aren’t they?

Yet, if you’ve never talked to them, you can only make assumptions about who they are and what they do.

If you want your ideal customers to really be familiar with your brand, be clear with them about what it has to offer. Tell them about the whole thing: what type of product/service is available, at what price, where and when it can be found, what your terms and conditions are etc.

Don’t be shy to repeat the same thing many times! As everyone has piled up their communications online, there’s so much noise out there, so many things vying for your customers’ attention, that you shouldn’t assume that because you told your message once, that the job is done.

Remember also to be consistent over time. Familiarity builds through consistency. This is achieved both in the message itself and the visual cues (fonts, colours, images, etc) you will have chosen to communicate with your customers.

On Relevance

Last but not least, Relevance is the third pillar of a healthy brand. Relevance is absolutely key to any brand to appeal to their ideal customers.

A brand might be highly visible, and people might be very familiar with what’s on offer, but if the brand isn’t relevant to them, they won’t buy it.

Be relevant

To be relevant, a brand must meet a need, or in other words, offer an answer to a customer’s pain point. You know the story of the guy who tried to sell ice to Eskimos…

Moreover, you’ll often find more than one company offering similar products, in a similar price range, to the same target audience. It’s very rare these days to operate in a category where there is absolutely no competition.

So to be relevant to your ideal customers, look beyond the functional benefits of the product or service you offer: connect emotionally with your customers, and find those who will share your beliefs and values. You may already have heard this as it’s quite popular at the moment: find your tribe, and your brand will have high chances to be relevant to them.

Stay relevant

Do you remember brands like Blockbusters, the chain of video rentals shops, or HMV? Or Mothercare, or Thomas Cook? They were on so many high streets and shopping malls. Where are they now?

In these unprecedented times, to pause and reflect on the relevance of your brand/ business offering, is worth its weight in gold.

You may have already heard the term ‘Pivot’ recently - the move that keeps your brand/business relevant when your customers’ needs have abruptly changed for a sustained period of time.

Take the hospitality sector for example. It has been badly hit with Covid-19 and many businesses won’t survive, even with the government’s help. But those who will stay afloat have found ways to remain relevant. Some started offering take-aways and home deliveries, when they only used to offer restaurant dining. Some pubs started to use apps like OrderPay to help customers respect social distancing and get table service instead of ordering at the bar. Etc, etc.

So before the summer ends, take a moment to review the health of your brand.

Answer these questions honestly:

-Is my brand visible enough? Do I communicate with my customers regularly or sporadically?

-Are people familiar with my brand? Do they know well what it has to offer?

-Is my brand still relevant to my ideal customers? How could I improve this even further in a fast changing world?

No one knows what the future holds, but one thing is sure: successful brands have always been visible, familiar and relevant over time.

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