By Sue Painter
Brand clarity is the difference between your company and your competitors. It’s the measure of how easily who you are and what your company does can be differentiated from any other business that offers similar products or services. Simply put, brand clarity is the fingerprint of your business.
Brand clarity consists of two things:
Both of these are noticed by the public, and both help potential customers decide whether they want to do business with you.
Have you noticed that your neighbors talk about local businesses and give a thumbs up or down based on their experiences and what their friends have told them? One nearby business will have a reputation for bad customer service and unfriendliness. Another will be recommended by your neighbors often. The business has a reputation of being customer service friendly, or their product is high quality, or installs easily.
Brand clarity comes not just from the messaging you use in your marketing and advertising, but also from the actions that your business takes from day to day. While you may think that your customers buy what you offer based solely on features and benefits (such as pricing) that’s not true. Your customers come to you from the recommendations, reviews, and word-of-mouth reputation that you have just as much as they do from the features and benefits of what you offer.
Brand clarity is important to your business because it helps potential customers distinguish your business. Your brand stands as a symbol for your business and separates you from your competitors. It sets you apart from noise in the marketplace, giving you recognition and standing.
Your branding plays a large part in bridging the distance between your business and its customers. Prospects who are looking for the type of products or services that you offer need a way to cross that bridge – to find you and feel as if your business will meet their needs. Brand clarity helps your business to more quickly satisfy the two things customers want.
If your branding is vague your prospects won’t find the bridge to your business. They will also feel uncertain that your business will meet their emotional need for satisfaction and a sense of fair play.
A lack of clarity in your branding shows when prospective customers aren’t quite sure what you do, or what you offer, or how well they will be treated. This often happens when a brand tries to appeal to a wide segment of the market, using a broad appeal in their branding. The end result is that prospects are vague about who you are and what you do. Instead of brand clarity, you have brand fog.
New customers are not the only ones affected by vague branding. Even your existing customers are impacted, which impacts their decision to buy from you again.
You will create a higher level of brand clarity in your buyer’s mind with consistent messaging and actions. Some of this is basic branding and includes things like:
While these are basic building blocks of brand clarity there’s much more you can do to make sure your brand stands out clearly.
It might seem strange to you to think that feedback loops have anything to do with your brand clarity. Most companies feel like their branding is defined by their mission statement, pricing, and policies. But the truth is that the people in your business drive brand clarity far more than we realize sometimes. Your brand is both what you put out into the marketplace and what the public is saying about you – what they believe to be true.
You plan out your mission, messaging, and brand design. But your company takes on a personality that is driven not only by you, the owner but also by every single employee. Remembering that brand clarity is driven by both your messaging and your actions, it’s easier to see that your business personality comes from you, your employees, and your customers themselves.
These 7 steps will help you build a recognizable brand and help you periodically evaluate your brand clarity, as well.
Your business changes over time, and your customer base changes, as well. So it’s important to periodically take the pulse of your business and see if your branding needs to be sharpened or refreshed. This helps you maintain clarity with your existing customers and keep the bridge to new customers wide open. Brand clarity helps you keep your business stable and growing, and that’s what your customers want to see.
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