Why Branding is Good for Business
Every successful company has a strong brand identity. Here’s how we can help you build yours.
A brand is essential to every successful company or organization. It doesn’t matter if you’re a small locally owned business, a non-profit, or a startup company—you need a brand.
Why? The answer is in the difference between soda and Coca-Cola. One is just a product; the other is an experience. You don’t create a relationship with carbonated sugar water. You create a relationship with a brand that believes happiness can be achieved by the simple act of sharing a Coke. Brands transform ordinary products or services into memorable experiences, and these experiences drive repeat purchases. Without a brand, Coke is reduced to just carbonated sugar water. Eighty-two percent of U.S. adults claim they are loyal to a product or brand. Sixty-four percent of consumers say shared values are the primary reason they have a relationship with a brand. At the very least, branding earns you greater visibility. Color can increase brand recognition by up to 80%.
What exactly is a brand?
Think of a brand as Woody from the movie Toy Story. Woody was just a listless doll until animators brought him to life with a Southern accent, a sense of humor, and a deep sense of loyalty. Like Woody, your brand will come to life once you give it a name, define its personality, establish a tone of voice, come up with guiding values, and define a mission. These attributes make your brand approachable, relatable, and meaningful to your target audience. They now have something to engage with, deepening their relationships with your products and services.
So… name…voice…mission, how hard can it be creating this stuff? As it happens, pretty hard. It can be difficult finding the right words to express all of your brand attributes and shaping them into a cohesive format. You have the challenge of distilling all your ideas down to the most important ones since your brand has to be easy to understand. And branding is more than just words, it’s also about finding the right colors, logos, and visual consistency to compliment your brand personality.
Without the time and resources, brand development can feel overwhelming. That’s where a workshop can really help.
What’s a branding workshop?
Workshops are a powerful interactive tool we use with many of our clients. They are part brainstorm, part strategy, and all fun. Workshops are led by both our marketing strategists and graphic designers so we can cover every aspect of your brand. During a two-to-three hour block, we use collaboration, brainstorming, and colorful Sharpies to uncover your brand essence. Attendance is typically capped at 5-8 participants, usually key company stakeholders, to allow for successful and easy collaboration and dialog.
The first part of the workshop is dedicated to identifying the elements that will ultimately influence your brand persona. We start by understanding your strengths and weaknesses, your primary competitors, and your target audience. We use different interactive exercises (and lots of colorful sticky notes) to help the group identify these elements so we can better understand how to bring your brand to life in your specific market or industry.
From there, we move into the heavy lifting and begin to uncover the building blocks of a company’s brand identity. We ask questions that are designed to reveal why your company exists, why it’s essential to your customers, how it makes people feel, and where it wants to be in the future. We want to know what values matter most to you, what adjectives best describe you, and what makes you unique. All the good stuff that will translate into an authentic brand that cares about its customers.
While our approach is very creative, you don’t have to be a creative person to find value from the experience. Our goal is to offer a comfortable space where our clients can unpack the building blocks of their brand, while also taking productive steps towards defining it. The interactive element gives everyone a voice at the table, while our marketing experts help steer the meeting in a productive direction.
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What does a brand workshop accomplish?
Workshops give top leaders a unique opportunity to come together and agree on a brand identity— something that not every executive schedule allows to happen very often.
“In my opinion, the most valuable aspect of the branding workshop was that it brought together our senior leadership to really think about – and align on – who we are as a firm today and who we want to be in the future as we evolve,” says Virginia Pond. Pond works for Hilsmire, a client of ours that participated in a workshop.
When leaders are on the same page, their business decisions and management style will be in alignment, which will positively influence other departments in the company.
The workshop also results in your Brand DNA. Once the workshop is complete, our team collects all of the sticky notes and diagrams and takes them back to our space ship to start the Brand DNA. The DNA is exactly what it sounds like: it is the very essence of your brand. A compilation of all the workshop findings, the DNA defines your brand attributes, like vision, mission, and values. It gives you the foundation you need to start delivering the right messages to your customers. It also serves as a very important internal alignment tool. By defining your brand and sharing it with employees, you can build a company culture that will support your business goals. And, you can help your employees consistently execute your brand personality across the board.
“Taking part in a workshop with Moonlight Creative was a collaborative, positive experience,” adds Pond. “The team did a fantastic job of facilitating the conversation, proposing fresh ideas and synthesizing our thoughts within the Brand DNA deliverable that was shared following the workshop. We left the workshop excited about the direction in which we’re going!”
Who can benefit the most from a workshop?
A workshop offers an in-depth approach to defining your brand and is intended to give companies dedicated time and space to build something from the ground up. This makes a workshop great for new companies who want to successfully launch themselves into the marketplace with an authentic, valuable brand. It’s also great for companies that want to redefine themselves, either because their brand is in need of a refresh or they are undergoing a merger. A workshop is like pressing the restart button and replacing a weak brand foundation with a strong one.
Companies that have started their own in-depth brand work typically benefit from a condensed version of the workshop. Here, instead of defining the company’s goals and vision, we work together to clarify and strengthen what already exists.
Companies of every size, industry, and marketplace can benefit from a brand workshop. The rule of thumb is this: If you have a product or service and an audience you want to reach, then you need a brand. Successful brands like Apple, Target, and Coca-Cola have depth and meaning because those companies took the time to carefully define all of their brand attributes. The work is hard but worth it: those companies have successfully built long-term relationships with customers because they used their brand to transform their products into an experience.
Think your team could use a brand workshop? Drop us a line!