These three simple rules can transform your brand if you follow and stick to them, consistently. The 3 C's provide a great framwork and a bit like a checklist to see if you are applying your brand in the right way for it be effective. If any of these are missing then you know it's time to take a step back and look at how your brand is performing.
If you don't brand yourself, someone else will. Is your branding and all it's communications 100% clear about who you are as an organisation? Because if it's not crystal clear, then your prospects are going to make their own mind up as to what you're about and if that happens, your essentially letting them take control of how you're percieved. Clarity in branding is not necessarily about spelling out what products or services you provide, it's more to do with presenting what type of values are at the core of your business. For instance, is your business a family run organisation? Or a business that does things for it's customers in a unique way? Make sure that your shouting about these in everything you do, from the logo to how you pick up the phone.
Once you're clear on your brand message, consistency is key to ensuring that anyone who sees, visits, speaks to your business, gets the SAME message. Take Starbucks for instance, it's a strong brand because it's clear about what they stand for and they communicate their values in the same way. You know you're in a starbucks just from the lighting, music and armchairs. These signature pieces create an ambience which is replicated the world over and they do this because consistency builds trust. What are the signatures of your brand and how can you communicate these to your customers in creative ways, time and time again?
Constancy is the key to building relationships with your customers, for life. Without constantly promoting your business, your customers will forget about you. If you have a customer base already, what are you doing to ensure that you are always talking to them? Do you send them regular updates? Do you pick up the phone to see if they need anything from you? Think of your customers like flowers, they all need to be watered or they'll wilt, that means if you dont feed them with reasons to keep coming back to you, they'll assume they dont need you!
Constancy is also about the constant improving and development of your brand. A lot of business owners assume that once you have a brand, then thats the end, but this is the wrong way to look at it. If you look back over time at some of the big brands, take Coca Cola for example. You'll see that they constantly develop the brand to make it better, from improving the shape of the bottle and now using recycled materials to looking at other creative ways to raise brand awareness. What can you do right now to improve your brand experience and it's communications?
Building a strong brand is obviously far more complex than just doing these three things, however no succesful brand has been built without them.
Does your brand pass the 3 C's test?