In reading message boards and blogs, it seems lots of people confuse the terms logo and brand. Your logo is the “mark” that is unique to your organization. It is a graphic representation of your brand. When done well, it is create an almost automatic response. Red means stop, green means go. But your brand is far more than that. Your brand is a combination of what you intend to do and what others believe they know about what you do. To paraphrase the old quote on beauty, the real value of your brand exists “in the eye of the beholder.”
To determine if you have an effective brand, you have to look outward. Ask your clients, patients, volunteers or employees to summarize your brand as they understand it today. Do they know what you are about, what is unique about your organization, what is valuable about your history, where you are headed? Do they understand how you create value for the customers or clients you serve?
That’s exactly what one of my clients wanted to know when we launched an on-line survey in the community they serve. The goal of the survey was to gauge how the client was viewed and to determine where the perceptions of various audience segments were aligned or misaligned with their current strategy, mission and values.
Using a variety of available collections of email addresses, the survey was launched to a broad segment of the community and stratified to represent different stakeholder groups. The results of the survey identified specific gaps between the reality and the perception, and that data gave us a concrete idea of what we needed to create and how we could communicate to close the gap.
Great brands follow a clear, consistent, focused strategy to create brand meaning that is aligned with the organization. Does your brand do that?