June 15, 2022
Brand Identity is the Why, Not the What
Brand is much more than a logo and as educated consumers and business owners, we know that. But if it’s not just the logo, what is it? As a portable restroom company, most people consider the product and service to represent the brand most strongly. That is not actually the case. What you do is important but why you do it can be even more vital in setting your brand apart.
Author, speaker, and brand guru, Marty Neumeier puts it best, “brand is a gut feeling”. Whether your company is a bank, retail space, or a portable restroom company, your company brand is a perception. It is the perception of your customers but also your employees, vendors, and partners.
Controlling that perception of others might seem impossible but if you start with a strong brand foundation, align all your brand decisions with that foundation and execute on them with clear and consistent communications that always tie back to the brand, your portable restroom brand will shine.
Outlining what your brand stands for and the motivation behind the business, no matter what the product is, can be essential in building a successful brand. Defining the “why” of the brand creates a culture that the entire company can embrace and thrive in.
Besides a Gut Feeling, What is Brand, Really?
If the success of marketing is based on sales, then the success of brand is based on experience and engagement. Brand is less about the product or service as it is about the dedication to the internal team and the customers who engage with the company. Brand represents the behavior surrounding all aspects of the business operations and the experience over time. Brand is Culture.
We’ll dig deeper into that behavior but first, let’s start with design. Your brand design is the visual expression of your company. The name and the logo are likely the first things that people perceive. It is the first impression through a sensory channel (eyes and ears) which is why people connect with the name (hear) and logo (see) so strongly.
The lesson here is to be mindful of design. Just because you have a computer, does not mean you can design a logo or website that aligns with the quality of your brand. Leave the design to the experts and focus on portable restroom services and customers.
That said before you start with design, you need to understand or discover who you are as a brand so you can articulate a platform that will then inform every aspect of your communication, including design and voice.
3 Parts of a Brand Platform
- Values: Your value, your worth. All that you believe in.
- Personality: Your overall tone and character (this aspect will inform design the most).
- Promise: Your commitment to both your guest and customer as well as your internal team.
It is important to note that your brand values should differentiate you so, words like integrity and honesty are not good values. Those characteristics should be in your DNA as a company. Unique values that only you can claim will work better for you and make you stand out. Spend time to consider and capture a platform that speaks to your portable restroom company and no one else’s.
It is also critical to make sure any employees and close partners have a clear understanding of your platform, so everyone is saying the same thing and behaving in the same ways to avoid any confusion about the brand. It is also especially important to know that every single engagement or visual expression will represent the brand.
Your brand will speak to who you are, what you do, and perhaps most importantly, why it matters. Your platform (what you look like and how you behave) will provide differentiation and set you apart from your competitors.
Brand Assets Should Work Hard for You
Once you have your foundation in place and your visual identity strategy at hand, it’s time to make your logo design intentional based on your platform. Make it count through simplicity, focus, and meaning. Here are tips to remember when developing and delivering your brand design assets which include logo, website, photography, email, social media channels, and advertising.
- Your brand identity should be simple, memorable, relevant to the brand, easy to read at any size, and lasting.
- Consider the file format for assets (high-quality 300dpi at size) should be delivered for print.
- Colors – align with brand, translate across channels and sizes, and readability (white type on yellow will not be legible).
- Colors have meaning and consider them wisely. The tone and amount of color used matter.
- Make sure your brand assets are used consistently, are scalable, and have recognition.
- Use your brand everywhere. Use it on your property as well as all the channels.
- Use clear brand messaging in marketing and advertising for repeated recognition.
- Develop brand usage guidelines and make sure anyone who is using your logo, tag, or messaging has them.
- Hire the experts for design! The cost of a logo used for a decade can be priceless.
We know now that a brand is more than the logo or the tangible assets but how they are used can make or break the brand impression for your portable Restroom company. Pay attention to the details and be mindful of the delivery.
Brand Positioning Has Evolved
Brand loyalty can be captured based on how you deliver on your brand platform, brand story, and promise. All of those components make up your positioning and it’s much more than just how your product or service is better. In the current market in any sector positioning is the what, the how and the why. Simon Sinek famously says, “people don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it”. The important factors in capturing a unique position and answering your why are as follows:
- Determine what differentiates you in the competitive market based on your brand platform. Brand expert Marty Neumeier says, “brand is built from the inside out”. Make sure your team understands how to speak about your brand, share the knowledge and build awareness around the culture.
- Know who your market is. Understand who they are and what they want. While your brand identity, brand behavior, and delivery will attract your tribe, you should still know who they are and how they feel. Use your brand voice to speak to them so they connect back to brand.
If you are mindful of who you are as a brand and have spent time considering its importance of it, you should be able to answer the following questions.
- Do you have a brand platform?
- Do you know your why?
- Do you know how you are different (Visually and experientially)?
- Do you know what your unique value proposition or promise is? (for customer segments and internal team,)?
- Are all brand decisions based on your brand platform and do all communications connect back to your brand?
- Does everything you do leave a positive brand impression? It’s a brand ecosystem and it matters. (from services to websites to communications).
- Is your brand omnipresent? Do your guests know you without even knowing?
A strong brand does not happen overnight but if you consider it in detail and deliver it with clarity, consistency, and the character that defines your portable restroom company, you are well on your way to brand success. It is also important to know that brand governance is a continuous effort. Make sure your message matches the experience of anyone who engages with your brand. Remember brand is culture and the more you can nurture your culture the better your brand and your business will be.