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Partner Plus Brand Basics Session 3 Workbook


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This document is to help you put into practice what you have learned in Partner Plus Brand Basics Session 3, this workbook is your tool to help you understand the following:
• Creating a consistent brand identity
• Improving brand communications
• Developing a strong brand culture

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Partner Plus Brand Basics Session 3 Workbook

  1. 1. Brand Basics: Building Your Business on a Powerful Promise and Engaging Experience Part 3: Bringing Your Brand to LifeA Cisco Partner Plus Resource
  2. 2. Brand Basics Parts 1 and 2 gave you a foundation to buildon, explaining what brand is, why it’s valuable, and how tobegin developing your own brand strategy. Part 3: BringingYour Brand to Life will help you turn your brand promise intotangible connections with your customers. You’ll learn aboutbrand identity, messaging and tone of voice, as well as howto begin building a brand culture within your company. Finally,we’ll give you some tips for effectively activating your brand.
  3. 3. Brand Identity
  4. 4. Brand Identity 4 As you’ve learned in the previous Brand detail, but it’s important to understand In this section you will Basics sections, brand is a complex that they all work together to convey an learn: concept, and arriving at your own brand image of your brand. In general, the more promise takes time and effort. You consistently you apply these components • What components make may not be there yet, but it’s still worth to your brand communications, the more up a brand identity considering what to do with your brand recognizable your company will be and strategy once you have it. Let’s begin by the more clear an understanding of • The importance of each looking at the most visible manifestation of your promise you will pass along to your element of an identity any brand – the brand identity. customer. system • How to begin developing Brand identity consists of five key As you will see, brand design is not purely or evolving your own ingredients: logo, color palette, subjective – it is less about what you like identity typography, imagery and graphic than about communicating what your elements. We’ll talk about each in more brand is like. Understanding that is the key to understanding strategy-based brand design. Brand Basics Part 3: Bringing Your Brand to Life / A Cisco Partner Plus Resource
  5. 5. 5 The Five Components of Brand Identity LOGO COLOR BRANDGRAPHICELEMENTS IDENTITY TYPOGRAPHY Imagery Brand Basics Part 3: Bringing Your Brand to Life / A Cisco Partner Plus Resource
  6. 6. “Most of the logos we admire more often than not are part of a well- designed system.”1 Brand Basics Part 3: Bringing Your Brand to Life / A Cisco Partner Plus Resource
  7. 7. 7Logo A logotype in all capital letters might feelIf your brand is who you are – what you more authoritative than one in all lowerstand for, what you promise and how case, and a bright red logo may appearyou deliver it – then your brand identity is more active than a dark blue logo. The Sometimes, the exception proves the rule. Youth-what you look like and how you present designer uses all the tools in their toolbox oriented brands like MTV purposefully use veryyourself. Your logo is the most prominent – color, typeface, symbols, etc. – to paint a flexible brand identity systems. This unconventionaland recognizable part of that presentation picture of your brand. approach expresses their challenger brand– it is the face of your brand. strategies. Freestyle approaches to logo usage are beginning to emerge in more “serious” categoriesLogos come in all shapes and sizes.They usually contain the name of the Many logos are stand-alone word marks, as well – Google is one well-known and some sort of associated meaning they consist only of a type However, this is a high-risk approach to brandicon or symbol. The best logos express treatment of the company’s name. identity, and requires either a significant marketingsome fundamental aspect of a brand’s budget or a dedicated customer base to support it.positioning – the vision or the promise.It may seem farfetched to think aboutyour logo expressing your strategy, but Most logos contain both a word mark andthat’s what good designers do – they an associated symbol that representsunderstand what you are trying to say some aspect of the brand.through your design brief, and translate itinto visual language.For example, a bold serif font associatedwith a columned building icon might feel Sometimes a brand becomes so wellmore classic and serious than a playful know that a word mark is no longerscript font associated with a heart icon. needed. Brand Basics Part 3: Bringing Your Brand to Life / A Cisco Partner Plus Resource
  8. 8. 8Color and Typography used by food brands quite literally and Tip: If you are a globalColor is one of the most powerful tools in a by banks more figuratively. Today, with organization, consider all ofdesigner’s arsenal, and alongside your logo the rising importance of sustainability your markets before committingis often the component of your brand that and environmental awareness, green heavily to one color. Colorscustomers are most likely to remember. is becoming more associated with have different meanings acrossThe right color or colors can communicate ecological brands and the corporate different cultures. For example,a lot about your brand because colors responsibility efforts of many companies while white traditionally representshave longstanding associations in our across categories. transparency and clarity in Westernculture. Typography – meaning the font or fonts nations, in China white is the colorFor example, blue is associated with associated with your brand and how they of, calmness, security and trust, so are used – is an often-overlooked areainsurance and medical companies often of brand expression. Many designers,use this color in their brands. Red is and indeed some marketers, harbor aassociated with emotion and action, so it’s deep interest in this aspect of brandoften embraced by retail brands and for identity. If you are one of these people,calls to action across all types of brands. or you hire one of these people to workJust think – how many red “Sale!” signs on your brand, you are in for some veryhave you seen in your life? entertaining, if esoteric, conversations! Choose colors that express your Due to the level of specialization required strategy. In this example, the brightA color’s meaning is not fixed, however, to discuss typography in depth, for the accent colors used by IT solutionsand green is a good example of this. purposes of this course we’ll focus on provider Presidio represent theTraditionally associated with growth some foundational definitions and basic bright ideas inherent in theirand plenty, for many years green was tips. "Practical Thinking" brand promise. Brand Basics Part 3: Bringing Your Brand to Life / A Cisco Partner Plus Resource
  9. 9. 9Definitions Tips• Serif fonts have small extra strokes • In general, serif fonts are considered more classical, and sans-serif fonts at the ends of letters. Times and are considered more contemporary. Garamond are popular serif fonts. • Serif fonts are easier to read in printed material, sans-serif fonts are easier• Sans-serif fonts have cleaner lines, to read in digital material. lacking the extra flourishes. Arial and • Using all caps for logos or headlines can appear confident or even Helvetica are popular sans serif fonts. authoritative; using all lower case generally feels friendlier and more• Letter weight refers to how thick the inclusive. If in doubt, using initial caps (like in the title of a book) is a good letters are – ranging from extra bold middle road. to bold to regular (sometimes called • Script fonts, rendered to look like handwriting, can sometimes be a roman) to light and even ultralight. shortcut to make a design feel more human and relatable. However, most• Cap height is the height of a capital designers will tell you that a good handwriting font is hard to find! letter like “C” or the ascender on a • There are a few fonts that are installed in all computers, often called lower case letter like “h.” default fonts. Make sure you choose commonly available default fonts• X height is the height of a font’s main for electronic documents and websites – this is the easiest way to avoid body, like a lower case “o” or the hump frustrating formatting errors. on a lower case “h.”• Leading refers to the vertical space between multiple lines of type.• Tracking, or kerning, refers to the horizontal space between letters. Brand Basics Part 3: Bringing Your Brand to Life / A Cisco Partner Plus Resource
  10. 10. Images dont always need to be literal. Photographs that evoke ideas you want to stand for, like speed, connection and 10 productivity, can also work. Heres an example from the recently redesigned website of IT solutions provider Presidio.Imagery • Lifestyle imagery - meaning shots of in the B2B space and the IT services people in their everyday life, usually category. Infographics are oftenImagery refers to the pictures you use at work in the context of B2B - can associated more with individual messagesin your brand identity, whether they are often communicate more than product or communications than with the overallphotographs or illustrations. For the shots. brand. However, some brands maypurposes of Brand Basics we will focus on want to consider leveraging infographicphotography, as almost all brands today • In general, full-color imagery is more design at a higher level. IBM is a best-in-require some form of photography in their engaging than black-and-white class example of using iconography andbrand communications. imagery. infographics as the foundation for a brandThere are as many approaches to identity. • Using imagery that depicts the end-imagery, and opinions about imagery, customer benefit - for example,as there are brands in the world today. confidence, or security - helps put theHowever, here are some things to keep focus on the higher order value you Tip: Useful online image banks for smallin mind as you consider what type of provide. businesses include:imagery to use in your communications: • Research indicates that social media •• Product imagery is less important in • posts (tweets, etc.) including imagery B2B service industries than in other • are much more likely to be viewed industries - if you’re just going to be than posts with text alone. showing the same hardware that your Also, photo-sharing platforms like Flickr competitors sell, how differentiating or Infographics are an increasingly popular and Instagram are increasingly including compelling is it? way of communicating today, particularly functionality that allows companies to license individual’s snapshots for business use. Brand Basics Part 3: Bringing Your Brand to Life / A Cisco Partner Plus Resource
  11. 11. 11Graphic Elements Good things to keep in mind when consider solid shapes if your brand is developing or choosing your graphic communicated mostly online.Graphic elements are design elements elements:that are incorporated into your identity • Consider category norms and choosesystem but are not specifically included in • Think about who will be working to either leverage them or differentiateyour logo. They might include shapes, like with your identity and choose an from them. For example, patterns ofrectangles or circles, patterns, like stripes, appropriate level of complexity. If wavy lines representing networks aregrids or polka dots, or line styles such as a global advertising agency will be prevalent in the IT industry. Using thatcurves or straight key lines. Sometimes handling your communications, you element will help immediately identifyyour logo or part of your logo can turn into can risk a complex brand identity the business your brand is in – but ata graphic element – Louis Vuitton’s iconic system with many graphic elements. what cost?repeating LV pattern is a well-known If you will be doing all of yourexample of this. communications in house, you might be better off with one or two simpleWhile graphic elements are different from elements.a logo, they are often derived from visualequities present in a logo. For example, • Consider the media you normallya brand with a soft, flowing logo might use to communicate, and choosealso use curved lines and curvy shapes elements that complement or areas graphic elements. Conversely, a brand easily executed in that medium. Forwith a blocky, edgy logo might use right example, shapes with gradient fills canangles and squares as graphic elements. be a challenge in digital executions – Brand Basics Part 3: Bringing Your Brand to Life / A Cisco Partner Plus Resource
  12. 12. 12Identity Development Tips Try Existing Resources • If you do have the budget for an • Talk to people in your marketing agency, smaller local agencies willExpensive designers and agencies are department – someone on your team often be more affordable and offerexpensive for a reason - they tend to may be a designer on the side or you a higher degree of client a good job. However, there are otheroptions, and if you’re smart about what going to school for ask for, you may be able to find some • Talk to your agencies – while Explore the webreal values. press release design, web design, • There are online design resources advertising design and brand design - sites like,Here are a few tips for developing your are all different things, it’s often better andidentity on a budget. to work with an experienced designer - that offer low-cost than a novice. alternatives to agencies. • Check your client list – are you • Explore Craigslist and other online job providing IT services for any clients forums – there are more independent who might have a design capability? creative professionals out there than Consider talking to them about a ever before. Connecting with them barter arrangement. directly could save you money. • Crowdsourcing is a relatively new Go local way to approach your brand identity. • Check with area arts schools and Sites like will allow design programs – you might be able you to send out a brief to dozens if not to get the next great logo designer to hundreds of designers and pay only work on your project for short money. for what you use. • Local printers – sometimes print shops have a designer on staff. Brand Basics Part 3: Bringing Your Brand to Life / A Cisco Partner Plus Resource
  13. 13. Tone of Voiceand Messaging
  14. 14. Tone of Voice and Messaging 14 As anyone who has ever spoken to a principle for everything you do. Your In this section you will customer service representative knows, value proposition focuses that idea on the learn: brands are much more than just visual. differentiated benefit you provide your What brands say and how they say it has target audience. Your brand personality, • The value of brand a dramatic impact on how customers messaging strategy and tone of voice personality and how to experience the brand. Particularly in the are the translation tools that take these develop your own case of smaller B2B service brands, much strategic components and begin to • How to focus your of your customer’s understanding of your make them resonate directly with your communications with a brand will come from touchpoints such customers. They should be present in all messaging strategy as spoken sales presentations, written of your internal communications briefs, • How to shape your proposals, your website content, etc. and any agency you partner with should communications using be very familiar with them. As we saw in Brand Basics Part 2, your tone of voice brand promise serves as an organizing Brand Basics Part 3: Bringing Your Brand to Life / A Cisco Partner Plus Resource
  15. 15. 15Brand Personality on an individual, write down at leastImagine if your company were a person… ten words that describe the character’swhat type of person would it be? That’s personality.the simplest way to think about brand Thinking Outside the Boxpersonality. Would it be honest? Would it If your brand were a car, what kind of carbe friendly? Would it be helpful? would it be? Choose one, and write downBrand personality is a useful tool because at least five words that describe that much of the language that describes Now repeat the exercise, asking what kinda brand is often strategic. This language of animal your brand would be. Betweenbegins to sound more creative, which these two questions you should generatemakes it useful for the people who will at least ten more translating your brand strategy into Word Cloudmarketing materials. Arrange all the words you’ve come upHere are three small group exercises with randomly on a page. Feel free to addthat can help you determine your brand a few more if you feel anything is missing.personality: Pass copies of the page around, and ask people to circle the 3-5 they think bestCelebrity Challenge describe your brand, and cross out theIf your brand was a celebrity, who would 3-5 that they think least describe yourit be? You can include characters from brand. Tally the votes, and you will end upbooks, movies and TV shows if that is with at least three words for your brandhelpful. Is your brand more of a Han Solo personality.or a Luke Skywalker? Once you’ve agreed Brand Basics Part 3: Bringing Your Brand to Life / A Cisco Partner Plus Resource
  16. 16. Worksheet 1: BRAND PERSONALITY CAR ANIMAL BRAND PROMISE CELEBRITY OR FAMOUS ADDITIONAL WORDS CHARACTER BRAND PERSONALITY In Partnership With Brand Basics Part 3: Bringing Your Brand to Life / A Cisco Partner Plus Resource
  17. 17. 17MessagingA messaging strategy takes your brandpromise and makes it relevant andmotivating to specific audiences. Considerfor a moment – your potential investorhas different needs than your potentialcustomer. Customers across differentindustry verticals are likely to think of youin different ways and each have differentneeds. Your potential customer thinks of Technicians Media Customer C-Suiteyou differently than your current customerdoes. A messaging strategy gathers all ofthese factors into a matrix and gives you afoundation for brand communications.Developing your messaging strategytakes work, but it is a fairly straightforwardprocess. Agency partners can help youwork through the details, and can add Investors and Analysts Customers Across Categoriesa level of professional polish to criticalcomponents. It’s important to rememberthat a messaging strategy is a guideline Different target audiences have different needs, meaning you want to base your communications toand a living document – as your business them on different expressions of your core strategy.evolves and as you learn more about yourtarget audiences, your messaging strategyshould grow with you. Brand Basics Part 3: Bringing Your Brand to Life / A Cisco Partner Plus Resource
  18. 18. 18Messaging Strategy company. What does success withThe Messaging Strategy Worksheet this customer look like?contains the framework for what you need • Based on your Brand Promise andto do. your Value Proposition, craft a simple• First, write your Brand Promise and message that could help get this your Value Proposition in the top target from where they are to where two boxes. These are not there for you want them to be. It does not show – these are there so you are have to be perfect or beautiful – the constantly checking to ensure that messaging strategy is a tool to get to your messages ladder up to a single brilliant advertising creative, not great brand idea. creative unto itself.• Next, identify your three most • Populate the Proof Points section with important audiences. For example, 2-3 of the most compelling Reasons Enterprise Customers, Small Business to Believe, which are relevant to this Customers, and Repeat Customers. message, from the list you compiled You can add more later, but begin with during Brand Basics Part 2. three to keep things manageable. Once you’ve done all this, you will have• In a short sentence, describe how you an excellent briefing tool for your internal think they feel about your company marketing department or agency partners. today. Look to the interviews you did If you are developing and executing on as part of the exercises contained this messaging strategy internally, it might in Brand Basics Part 2 to inform this be worth spending a little extra time on section. the “What we can say to them…” section, as these messages will likely get out to• In a short sentence, describe what the world with little additional polish. you want them to think of your Brand Basics Part 3: Bringing Your Brand to Life / A Cisco Partner Plus Resource
  19. 19. Worksheet 2: MESSAGING STRATEGY BRand promise: VALUE PROPOSITION: TARGET 1: TARGET 2: TARGET 3: Current mindset: Current mindset: Current mindset: DESIRED MINDSET: DESIRED MINDSET: DESIRED MINDSET: WHAT WE CAN SAY TO THEM: WHAT WE CAN SAY TO THEM: WHAT WE CAN SAY TO THEM: PROOF POINTS: PROOF POINTS: PROOF POINTS: In Partnership With Brand Basics Part 3: Bringing Your Brand to Life / A Cisco Partner Plus Resource
  20. 20. Tip: In today’s hyper-connected, constantly sharing world, social media magnifies the importance of tone of voice. Make sure the people in your organization who are involved 20 in any way with social media monitoring and engagement understand your tone of voice and what kind of personality you are trying to express to the world. While allowing employees to “be themselves” online can be valuable in terms of building genuine engagement on communities like Twitter and Facebook, make sure they know what kind of expression you are encouraging and what kind of expression is simply not allowed.Tone of VoiceHere’s a good mantra to keep in mind when 1. For each of your brand personality words, remember and use them. Thesethinking about tone of voice: how you say develop three specific guidelines that should be simple but meaningfulsomething is as important as what you apply to speaking or writing. For example, suggestions, like: always answer theare saying. Consider when you have to for a personality word like “approachable” phone with a smile, always open apass along bad news to someone in your you might choose: avoid using technical presentation with a question, andprofessional or personal life – you stop jargon, it’s okay to use contractions, and never use the word “no.”and think about how you will deliver your never lecture a customer. Gather all of these guidelines togethermessage. The same is true when you need 2. Look outside of your category for brands and publish them for your brandto ask a question and you’re not sure you’ll that have personalities similar to the communicators. Socialize them withinget the answer you want. And that’s really one you’ve chosen for your company. your organization. Let people know thatwhat sales is all about – asking a question For example, if you’re a bold customer your company values and rewards peopleand trying to get to a “yes.” advocate, look to Southwest Airlines. If who bring them to life. If you can, developWhen it comes to brand, tone of voice is you’re simple, friendly and stylish, look a quarterly award for the employee whothe tool that operationalizes your brand to JetBlue, and if you’re a professional does the best job of expressing yourpersonality. It consists of guidelines, and category leader, look to Delta. Examine brand through tone of voice.sometimes examples, that explain to brand how they write in advertising and on their website to help develop more ideas for Remember – your brand personality iscommunicators how to bring your brand your tone of voice guidelines. your tone of voice. If you’re having a lot ofto life through the written and spoken trouble completing the exercises in thisword. You’ll need to agree on your brand 3. Come up with three specific tonal actions section, go back and take a look at thepersonality before you can develop your you want everyone in your organization personality words you developed. Youtone of voice. Once you have 3-5 words to take when communicating your brand. might need to make an adjustment.that describe your brand personality, here’s This is a small enough number of thingsa three-step process to turn them into your to keep in mind that people will actuallybrand tone of voice. Brand Basics Part 3: Bringing Your Brand to Life / A Cisco Partner Plus Resource
  21. 21. 21BrandCulture Brand Basics Part 3: Bringing YourBrand to Life / /A Cisco Partner Plus Resource you Brand to Life A Cisco Partner Plus Resource
  22. 22. Brand Culture 22 Throughout the Brand Basics course simply means capturing and repeating the In this section you will you’ve seen references to the value of parts of your “way of doing things” that learn: internal branding. This is just another are reflective of your brand vision and way of saying it’s important to develop a brand promise, and reshaping the parts • The definition and consistent company culture. You probably that aren’t. purpose of brand already have a “certain way of doing culture things” in your organization. In fact, you In order to begin building a brand culture, • The four steps in probably uncovered some insights in this you’ll need to understand the process the internal brand area and drew on them in the course employees go through to internalize brand, activation journey of your brand development exercises in how to propel them through this process, Part 2 (or you will). Building brand culture and what the desired outcomes are. • How to embed the brand in your people and their actions “ What is exciting in terms of corporate brand culture is that unlike product brands its importance is tangible, incontrovertible.”2 Brand Basics Part 3: Bringing Your Brand to Life / A Cisco Partner Plus Resource
  23. 23. 23The Internal Brand Journey There is no set timeframe for internal brandJust as your customers need to travel activation, and how long it will take dependsthrough the marketing funnel in order to greatly on the size of the company. However,become loyal advocates for your brand, as a general rule, brand awareness activitiesyour employees need to undertake a should be given 1-3 months to take root, brandjourney of their own. The four stages of understanding efforts will likely take anotheremployee brand activation are Awareness, 1-3 months, and brand action and advocacyUnderstanding, Action and Advocacy. initiatives should be ongoing. Awareness Understanding Action Advocacy Awareness simply means that Understanding means that Action describes the stage Advocacy indicates the stage your people know that brand is employees comprehend the during which employees grasp at which your people have valuable, that your organization broader aspects of your brand what they need to actually do, fully internalized the brand has a brand, and what your such as your vision, your value as part of their day-to-day and have become evangelists brand promises to customers proposition, and your brand work, to bring the brand to life. within your organization, at the highest level. personality – and that they see feeding a virtuous cycle of how the brand fits with their internal brand building. role in the organization. Brand Basics Part 3: Bringing Your Brand to Life / A Cisco Partner Plus Resource
  24. 24. 24Activating the Brand Internally When you deploy all three types of Top-Down Engagement communication together you’ll getThere are three ways to build yourbrand within the organization – from employees who understand thethe top down, from the bottom up, and Deeper Immersion importance of your brand initiative,with targeted communications that hit are consistently reminded of what itspecific audiences in the middle of your means, and have only the detailedorganization. While each method is best Bottom-Up Engagement information they need to deliver the brandused at different stages of the internal appropriately through their part of thebrand journey, all three work together to business.embed your brand with employees. By segmenting and prioritizing your higher value internal audiences, you can invest in the places that are most critical to delivering the brand. Brand Basics Part 3: Bringing YourBrand to Life / /A Cisco Partner Plus Resource you Brand to Life A Cisco Partner Plus Resource
  25. 25. 25 Top-Down Engagement Deeper Immersion Bottom-Up EngagementTop-down communications are messages Use through-the-middle communications Bottom-up communications are company-that come from your company leadership. to train specific groups within your wide messages that any employee wouldExamples could include emails, blog organization on parts of the brand that encounter on a daily basis. Examplesposts, presentations (live or via web), and they are responsible for. Not all audiences of bottom-up communications mightpersonalized communications to high- need deeper content. Marketing, sales include posters, email blasts, bannersvalue team members. The role of top- and HR are examples of those who might. on your company intranet or desk drops.down communications is to get people’s Your marketing team needs to be deeply This is not the place to include deep orattention, demonstrate the importance of familiar with your brand identity, tone of complex content – it’s a place to quicklybrand to your company, and indicate that voice, and any associated guidelines. Your and efficiently communicate that changeyou have executive-level sponsorship to sales team needs to know how to weave is coming (or remind people that a changeincrease compliance. the brand promise into their presentations has recently arrived) and reinforce at the in credible, motivating ways. Deep content highest level what that change is. can be delivered through meetings, workshops, and guidelines or training collateral. Brand Basics Part 3: Bringing Your Brand to Life / A Cisco Partner Plus Resource
  26. 26. 26Developing Brand Behaviors The best way to develop and train brand UPS instructs its delivery peopleOne ultimate goal of building a behaviors is to start small and think to walk briskly and purposefullystrong brand culture is to drive brand from the customer’s perspective. What when they are outside of theirbehaviors. Brand behaviors are actions actions would be most meaningful to your trucks. Because strolling mightthat employees are trained to take, customers, and are relatively easy for imply laziness or a lack of caring, and running mightand eventually take on their own, that your employees to execute and repeat? imply lateness or disorganization, UPS chose abroadcast and reinforce the brand Examples of basic brand behaviors third way that perfectly expresses the competencepromise. Achieving this goal can take are scripted phone greetings and pre- and confidence that their consumer and businesssome effort and, in larger organizations, it written tweets. But there are many more customers rely on.requires a budget for employee training. examples of more complex – and effectiveHowever, it’s worth discussing in brief – brand behaviors, two of which arebecause the cost of training employees presented far less than the cost of most external Disney theme parks help What are one or two ways you couldmarketing campaigns, and the effects of families believe in magic by imagine bringing your brand to life throughbrand behaviors can be very compelling removing worry. If any child drops a food or drink action?for customers. item – for example, an ice cream cone – employees are instructed to immediately replace the item at no cost and clean up the mess so parents don’t have to. This translates into a magical experience for the entire family, as they remain immersed in the theme park fantasy. Brand Basics Part 3: Bringing Your Brand to Life / A Cisco Partner Plus Resource
  27. 27. BrandingTips and Tricks Brand Basics Part 3: Bringing YourBrand to Life / /A Cisco Partner Plus Resource you Brand to Life A Cisco Partner Plus Resource
  28. 28. Branding Tips and Tricks 28 As we’ve seen through the three modules touchpoints are a part of your brand, and In this section you will of the Brand Basics course, brand can investing in brand will always pay you learn: be complicated. It has many different dividends. pieces and parts. But brand can also be • A FEW BRANDING DOs AND reassuringly simple. Brand is what you The following pages offer some tips that DON’TS promise, and how you deliver on that will speed you on your journey toward promise. For some of you, brand might be inventing – or reinventing – your brand. We • TIPS FOR EXPRESSING YOUR most present in a sales presentation. For hope that brand believers of all types and BRAND IN SOCIAL MEDIA others, it might be in your logo, or in the levels of experience will find something • HOW TO SAVE - AND WHERE here that will inform or inspire them in print ad you’re running. And for still others, TO SPEND - ON BRAND some way. it might be most present in a job posting for your next employee. All of these Brand Basics Part 3: Bringing Your Brand to Life / A Cisco Partner Plus Resource
  29. 29. 29DO take brand seriously.A half-baked or misunderstood brand is worse than no brand 5 Branding DOsat all – invest the time in creating a strategic foundation that isfocused, relevant and differentiated.DO brand internally first, and externally second.Your employees are primary touchpoints for your brand. Getthem on board first so that they can effectively and consistentlypromote your brand and deliver on your promise.DO look for inspiration from strong brands.Look to powerful B2B and even B2C brands and do someresearch: what do they do right, and how can you learn fromthem in ways that are relevant to your own brand?DO create brand guidelines.Creating even simple brand guidelines will ensure that your brandis represented consistently across all touchpoints, whether youmarket yourself or use an agency.DO sweat the small stuff.Even seemingly insignificant touchpoints can affect theperception of your brand. Think about how your customer servicerepresentative answers the phone, or the shirt your technicianwears. Brand Basics Part 3: Bringing Your Brand to Life / A Cisco Partner Plus Resource
  30. 30. 30DON’T confuse “I like it” with “It’s right for the company.” 5 Branding DON’TsLet your agreed strategy drive your decisions – not personal tasteDON’T be a perfectionist.When it comes to brand, everyone has an opinion and theprocess can get bogged down. Remember that sometimes, doneis better than perfect.DON’T spend money without clear goals.Make sure that you set clear, measurable goals against which youcan evaluate success. That which gets measured, gets done.DON’T trust your social media strategy to an intern.It can be tempting to consider your Facebook and Twitterpresence as trivial, when they are in fact anything but. Whoevercrafts your social media strategy should be well versed in yourbrand and your business objectives.DON’T follow the herd.The IT services category can seem like a sea of sameness – you’llneed to differentiate if you want to float to the top. Brand Basics Part 3: Bringing Your Brand to Life / A Cisco Partner Plus Resource
  31. 31. 31Share, don’t sell. 5 Tips for Getting the Most Out of SocialSocial media is for building connections, not conversion. Settingthe wrong expectation will create external disengagement andinternal disappointment.Develop a rhythm.Build up a following by posting to your social media outlets with Mediasome regularity. Consider building up a store of posts you candeploy when needed.Be personal.Have an interesting tone – avoid sounding too corporate whenusing social media. Engage your followers casually, in a way thatreally lets your brand’s personality shine.Be useful. “ …Social media is a great equalizer:Have interesting content – nobody wants to retweet a list of your big brands can be outsmartedproduct features, but they may be interested in your point of viewon a new technology. without making huge investments,Use imagery. and small brands can make bigInclude images with captions in your tweets and posts to blogsand Facebook – users tend to skip over blocks of text. names for themselves.”3 Brand Basics Part 3: Bringing Your Brand to Life / A Cisco Partner Plus Resource
  32. 32. 32Keep it simple. Don’t create a brand strategy or identity that is too elaborate 5 Tips for Developing and extensive. Complexity equals cost, and besides, one of your primary goals is ensuring that your brand is easy for customers to understand. Your Brand on aKeep it focused. Choose the specific aspects of your brand that you deem Budget most important, and spend what you can afford there first.Listen to your customers. Nobody’s opinion matters more than those who exchange money for your products and services – and listening to them is free. Heed their feedback and reactions, and watch out for the common trap of “talking to yourselves” or “believing your own press.”The web is full of information. The Internet is awash with blogs and resources for DIY branding. Take advantage of them.Digital and social are your friends. These are cost-effective channels through which to reach your target audience. Brand Basics Part 3: Bringing Your Brand to Life / A Cisco Partner Plus Resource
  33. 33. 33A one-day brand workshop. 5 Areas to Invest inHire a consultant to run a workshop with key internal stakeholdersso that everyone feels like they were part of the process indeveloping the brand and establishing its values. BrandA designer for your logo.There are options to fit every budget, from branding agencies towebsites like or that can help youfind a freelance designer – remember, this will be the symbol foryour brand for years to come!A basic identity package.A set of essential professional brand touchpoints like a businesscard, email signature, letterhead, and presentation template willgo a long way toward elevating your business presence.Templates.Rather than having an agency design a one-off ad for you, havethem create simple templates for a few digital banner ad sizes, afew print ad sizes, and an information sheet. Then you can reusethese by changing the content.Your website.Often the first point of contact for your customers – rememberyou never get a second chance to make a first impression. Brand Basics Part 3: Bringing Your Brand to Life / A Cisco Partner Plus Resource
  34. 34. InConclusion Brand Basics Part 3: Bringing YourBrand to Life / /A Cisco Partner Plus Resource you Brand to Life A Cisco Partner Plus Resource
  35. 35. Conclusion 35Through the three parts of this Brand We hope you’ll review the links andBasics course you’ve learned what suggestions on the Additional Resourcesbrand is, why it’s valuable, how to create pages of all three of the Brand Basics This course has given youyour own brand promise, and how to workbooks, and that you’ll follow up with the basic tools you needexpress that promise through design, a Cisco Partner Plus resource if you’d like to begin to cultivate yourvoice and culture. Of course, brand is a to talk more specifically about options for brand on your own, andbig topic, and we would never claim to building your brand. we hope it’s also excitedhave covered every inch of it in this quick a heightened level ofsurvey course. Your brand is a living thing – it already interest in the potential exists, and it’s growing. The question is – of brand to build your is it growing in the direction you want it to? business. Because brand is valuable, brand is powerful, and today more than ever, brand is not optional. Brand Basics Part 3: Bringing Your Brand to Life / A Cisco Partner Plus Resource
  36. 36. Additional Resources 36 Brand on Wikipedia Brand Identity Essentials A basic catalog of information on A book by Kevin Budelmann, Yang Kim brand, its components and prevalent and Curt Wozniak that provides a solid branding strategies. foundation for the visual design elements of branding using real-world examples. Identity Works A blog focusing on corporate brand Tomorrow Starts Here identities with regular contributions from A site that brings Cisco’s Brand Vision and experienced designers and strategists. Brand Promise to life. Processed Identity Cisco Partner Plus A blog with examples of strong visual Collected information and resources for identities and tips for how to develop one. Cisco Partner Plus partners. socialmouths A blog with insightful, honest tips and tricks for small businesses looking to leverage social media. Brand Basics Part 3: Bringing Your Brand to Life / A Cisco Partner Plus Resource
  37. 37. References 37 1 Budelmann, Kevin, Yang Kim, and Curt Wozniak. Brand Identity Essentials: 100 Principles for Designing Logos and Building Brands. Rockport Publishers, 2010. 7. 2 Schroeder, Jonathan E., Miriam Salzer-Mörling, and Søren Askegaard. Brand Culture. London: Routledge, 2006. 35. 3 Zarrella, Dan. The Social Media Marketing Book. Sebastapol, CA: O’Reilly, 2009. 7. Brand Basics Part 3: Bringing Your Brand to Life / A Cisco Partner Plus Resource
  38. 38. 38Third party company names, trademarks, logos andquotations referenced in these materials are theproperty of their respective owners and their use doesnot constitute or imply an endorsement, sponsorship,affiliation, association or approval by the third partiesof these materials or with Cisco Systems, Inc. and/or its affiliates (“Cisco”). The information contained inthese materials are the opinions of Publicis BOS Group.Cisco disclaims all warranties as to the accuracies,completeness or adequacy of such information and shallhave no liability for omission or inadequacies in suchinformation. Brand Basics Part 3: Bringing Your Brand to Life / A Cisco Partner Plus Resource
  39. 39. 39Presented byPublicis Brand Optimization Systems (BOS) Group developsbrand strategies for clients and brings them to life throughbrand identity, employee education and experience design.BOS Group is part of Publicis Worldwide. Brand Basics Part 3: Bringing Your Brand to Life / A Cisco Partner Plus Resource