Are You Telling Your Story?
There are things that are cyclical. Branding seems to be one of those items. There are three things to keep in mind when discussing branding - whether it's a product, your company, personal branding (a new trend for consideration) or the destination.
- A Brand is reputation
- A Brand Image is perception - what people say about you (your product, destination, etc.) when you're not around
- Branding is the practice of managing the reputation
What is a brand story? Every brand has one - that's how it goes from being a logo and a name to a brand. The story includes expectations and history and promises and social cues and emotions. The story makes the consumer say " we love Google" or "we love Harley.
Columbus, Georgia's brandprint was designed around hundreds of interviews, surveys, both local and from the customers' perspective. The research on the branding project took almost a year with a binder providing the results as thick as the day is long. The branding task force insisted that in order to do the branding project right, research was needed; that it was the only way to tell the Columbus story.
The brand print described the destination as "providing a beautiful atmosphere in an urban setting." And we see that today with the nod to soft adventure activities - whitewater rafting, biking, birding, etc. - coupled with the amenities and quality of life aspects of the community that make Columbus a great place to live and work... and of course, visit.
What's your story? Does your brand support your strategy?