Five Behind-The-Scenes Items You Need For Your Company's Brand
⌛ By Kaylin R. Staten ⌛
A brand is the DNA of your personal image or company. Most of us have a “brand,” so to speak, but it involves more than just an Instagram grid, carefully crafted logo or one highly recognizable campaign.
It’s your company’s public identity, but it’s also what happens behind the scenes -- all of those things no one except employees and other internal stakeholders have their hands on and see on a daily basis.
While the below is not a comprehensive list, these five elements will help you live your brand every day and structure your goals and objectives accordingly. Here are five key branding elements we use here at Hourglass Media:
A mission/vision statement.
This is an integral aspect of any brand. If you don’t have a mission, then you don’t have the foundation of your brand. I see a lot of companies start the ground running with vibrant communications on social media and other platforms. But, their messages are all over the place, so it’s unclear what they do. The question at large is: why do you do what you do? As Hourglass Media has evolved, we have honed in on what we do, which has streamlined our inner business practices and overall brand. With the vision statement, you want to create an aura of what you would like to be known for, such as a leading thought leader, influencer or a go-to brand for a specific service/product.
Here is our mission statement:
We unveil the heart of your story through writing, public relations, one-on-one coaching, learning opportunities and more.
A master list of company values.
This goes hand-in-hand with the mission and vision statements. As your company expands, you want to hire people for your team who have buy-in with the company’s values. These may or may not differ from your personal set of values. For me, my company remains mostly in line with my personal values. Take a moment and write down what is important to you and what you believe is important for your company. The strongest values are what make it to both lists. Here is our master list of values, for your reference:
Consistent messaging and design.
Your company needs to have a consistent brand voice throughout all communications. Of course, some platforms are more casual, such as social media. Some will be more formal, like your website or a business proposal. Tailor your messages accordingly, but don’t lose sight of your target audiences. Furthermore, a consistent design will help people easily identify you. Choose a color scheme that goes with your overall mission and values. Hourglass Media uses deep teal, gold and red hues, specific fonts for each collateral piece, clean designs and futuristic art deco nuances. Just think of us as the Blade Runner of communications companies. Create your own brand toolkit so you can easily reach HEX codes, Pantones, fonts and more at a moment’s notice.
A well-oiled machine of plan.
Your brand is only as good as what you invest in it. While some brands could go viral just be sitting idly by, the reality is that you have to work hard to build a brand. That entails having a clear RPIE (Research, Planning, Implementation and Evaluation) public relations/communications plan that complements your existing business plan. Tie your business goals and objectives to your communications. Be sure to research and then evaluate your progress. More and more audiences (especially a board of directors, your clients or anyone else you have to answer to) want to see a Return on Investment with communications strategies and tactics. Treat your company and brand just like that as well.
A centralized hub.
You will want to have at least one “owned” platform where you can control the messages and your brand. Hourglass Media’s website, www.hourglassmedia.company, is a compilation of completed work, services, freebies, products, blog posts and more. You can tell your brand’s story on your own terms and link back to your website on social media channels and other myriad ways. You may also want to have a media center and offer your logos and a branding guide so people can use your logos and other items in compliance. (Stay tuned… a website re-haul is afoot in the next month or so!)
See how you can use your brand to its fullest. Our friends over at Practical Branders have it all laid out for you in this blog post!
Kaylin R. Staten, APR, is an award-winning public relations practitioner and writer based in Huntington, WV with nearly 16 years of professional communications experience. As CEO and founder of Hourglass Media, she uses her compassionate spirit and expertise to delve into the heart of clients’ stories. She is a recovering perfectionist, mental health advocate, wife, cat mom and Leia Organa aficionado. Connect with Kaylin on LinkedIn.