Most of us think of our brand as a tool for communicating who we are and what we do. We think of logos or catchy names — totems that convey the mission or identity of our businesses.
A good brand does express identity, Cheryl Heller, the founder and CEO of Heller Communication Design said. But great branding goes one step further. You must think of your brand less as a tool for communicating identity, and more as a tool for conveying a promise.
1. Be brief. Be clear. “Clarity and brevity do not come naturally to entrepreneurs with a mission,” Heller lamented. Use the Ritz Carlton promise as an example. Notice it does not include words like “luxury” or “hospitality.”
2. Don’t clutter your brand promise with references to how you differentiate yourself.“Who you are and what you do is core to your brand promise,” Heller said. “How you do it, that changes as you grow.” Wizbang as your technology is, it is only one of your tools. Don’t mention it.
3. Avoid common words used by other companies. Heller’s examples: strategy, core values, mission, vision, operational excellence, efficiency, value-added, character, integrity, positioning, sustainability, corporate citizen, cause.
4. Speak to all your constituents: customer, partner, investor, or employee.