Brand: “a person’s gut feeling about your organisation, service or product”.

This week’s post is really just a short summary of the last 6 weeks’ worth of posts. I cannot begin to stress how important it is that you are influencing people about who you are and what you do in the right way. If you want your business to grow and to flourish it is worth spending the time, effort – and money – to make sure things are done right every time.

No business grows without investment and in these tough economic times, any investment needs to be carefully thought through. But in a time when businesses are cutting back on marketing, brand awareness and cohesive and consistent communication streams the question really is: can you afford not to?

If you want to get ahead of the curve and rise above the competition so your voice is heard above the others then investment in a sustainable branding process is essential and will be far more effective.

So, finally, I want to conclude with the summary of the 5 Cs that I gave in week one as I think we need to end where we began – looking at how these elements can powerfully affect your organisation and the messages that are heard by those that really matter – your customers and prospects.

Coherency – Does your communication stream (expressed through verbal, print, web and digital media) have a connection across all channels? Does it make sense overall? Is it understandable?

Consistency – Is your communication stream consistent over an extended period of time? Are you delivering the same message (albeit in differing forms and with different emphases) time and time again?

Creativity – Creativity is what gives brands traction in the marketplace. Does your company or organisation have great creative design, helping it stand out and be noticed? What does your logo, marketing material or website make people feel about what you do and what you have to offer?

Collaboration – In this tough economic climate, it’s very tempting to cut costs (and corners) and try to do everything yourself. This is not necessarily the wisest thing to do. You do what you do best. Why not bring others in to help you focus and strengthen your brand. Work with experts in their field – marketing consultants, web developers/designers, graphic designers / brand experts, social marketers etc. Remember, deep insights come from deep experience.

Cohesiveness – is your communication stream well integrated? Is there something that unifies it all – a common creative theme that makes each element feel part of one whole family? Is there a united message?

I hope this series has been of real help. Take care.