The Holy Grail of Branding: Clarity

Clarity.
So few brands have it. Fewer still know how to achieve it. And even fewer live it every day.

Most brands struggle to consistently answer the most basic of business questions; What do we mean to people today, and what should we mean to them in the future?

Our job as marketers becomes exponentially difficult as we try to cut through the clutter and fight for an increasingly small amount of the average consumers’ attention. But the payoff is huge. Look at the clearest brands: Apple, Nike, Starbucks, Subaru, AirBNB and Patagonia. Each brand stands for a singular and simple thought that permeates everything from their marketing to the way they fundamentally operate. That clarity of mission goes far deeper than a tagline or creative platform, it becomes the culture driving every employee every day to stand for something larger than themselves. That clarity of purpose is a very powerful thing.

This type of organizational alignment doesn’t magically happen. It takes a dedication to objectively answering the questions above, leading internal teams to take ownership of these bold ideas, and distributing this message and materials—both internally and externally—with passion, consistency and, you guessed it, clarity.

Do it right and every resource within your organization will sing in perfect harmony. And that brand alignment not only creates a stronger culture, but also shapes external perceptions of your brand. External perceptions that, if nurtured, can lead to greater customer engagement, sharing and loyalty. We at INK argue growth is a result of rigorous clarity.

In fact, we have fielded our own study on the subject. We recently contacted 1,500 typical consumers across the United States and asked them one simple question: “What’s the first word that comes to mind when you think of (Brand X)?” There were 100 brands, most of which headquartered in Southern California in our study ranging from technology to apparel to QSR. The data has been compiled and the results were quite eye-opening.

If you’d like to see the results of this study, drop us a line. We’d love to share what a small sampling of America thinks of your brand and how we can help you bring more clarity to your own organization.

Todd Henderson, President

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