My reflections from NCAD? Branding first. Web next.
While at NCAD, I noticed there is more chatter around branding today than there was two years ago, which is great! Though branding is part of the conversation today, many still aren’t sure where branding fits within the process of marketing a new or evolving organization. CEO’s constantly come up to me and ask, what should I do first? And the answer is simple: Branding.
Why Branding First
Branding is the core foundation of an organization, supporting every facet of both internal and external marketing. When leaders hear this, it makes perfect sense that branding must come first. Knowing your brand – who you are, what you stand for, what makes you special – provides clarity, focus, and consistency across every single touchpoint.
This consistency is critical today, where 90% of consumers expect a similar brand experience across all touchpoints. If you skip the branding process, your foundation is more likely to crack, causing inconsistencies and inefficiencies in media efforts.
If done right, however, success follows. And you have a strong position from which to communicate and to market your organization. According to Salesforce Research’s 2016 State of Marketing Report, “Customers want one experience whether they’re interacting with marketing, sales, or service. High-performing marketers are breaking down barriers to deliver a unified face of the business.”
I understand the importance of building awareness through all media channels, especially on a website and in digital, social, and SEO. I also realize that many feel an urgency to get their name out there quickly. But the process shouldn’t be rushed, and the critical step of healthy branding cannot be skipped. Once the healthy branding is complete, your organization will be unified, moving in the same direction, and speaking the same language when you unveil that shiny new site.
Build your foundation, and see how easily the rest of the pieces fall into place.
Yes, it’s simple: healthy branding first.