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If you are running a company and you aren’t hyper-focused on brand alignment, it’s time to listen up. Your brand may not be a huge focus for your company because you’re focused on clear revenue-generating activities. Much of the focus for most companies is geared more towards the products or services that they offer, as well as the marketing to attract their ideal customers. But if you’re not aware of the importance of brand alignment, your company is missing out on truly connecting with customers and clients, and increasing the value of your brand.
A recent study found that 83% of Millennials stress the importance of brand value alignment. The same study also found that 62% of Millennials surveyed state that buying from companies that support their political and social beliefs is important to them. It’s becoming pretty obvious that having clear brand alignment, which includes clear values on non-business related social and political beliefs, is important when it comes to gaining trust and confidence from clients and customers. Are you presenting your brand in a way that aligns with your mission and values?
What is Brand Alignment?
It’s possible that in the past, when you thought of brand alignment, you simply thought of your company’s visual branding. Making sure that all the colors match and everything you put out into the world looks aesthetically cohesive. While the visual branding of a company is definitely a crucial part of their brand, that’s not all there is to it when it comes to brand alignment.
Brand alignment ensures that the company as a whole upholds the promises of its brand. This means that marketing assets, customer interactions, employee performance, and more, are all within your brand’s key messages, values, and story. The way you approach social, political, and environmental issues can be a huge part of your brand’s alignment and a wonderful, inspirational way to represent your brand to your audience.
Why is Brand Alignment Important?
The importance of brand alignment isn’t just about being cohesive and aligned with your mission and story because it looks better. It goes much deeper than that — a strong brand that is clearly defined and implemented throughout your entire company is a powerful asset. Consumers are proving they don’t just want the cheapest or the easiest anymore. They want to work with, or support, a company that represents itself in a way that is authentic and has a purpose. A company that doesn’t just state their values and their story in one small line on their about page, but makes its story and mission clear in every part of its business.
For example, a recent customer pulsing survey revealed that more than 80 percent of consumers would be willing to pay more if a company raised its prices in order to be more environmentally or socially responsible, or if it paid higher wages to its employees. Customers are trending more towards companies that don’t just do business, but do better. It is crucial to make this clear by aligning your brand properly.
Your clients, and potential clients, rely on your brand alignment to know what to expect from you. If they see one thing when interacting with your website or marketing content, and feel another when interacting with your personnel, you leave them confused. This means your brand alignment is off. Clear brand alignment creates customers and clients who know your company, what you’re about, and can confidently support your brand. This doesn’t only make it easier for people to support your company and buy from you, but it makes them more likely to become raving fans. Word of mouth is a powerful tool.
How Can You Ensure Brand Alignment?
If you realize that the brand alignment within your company is off, what can you do to fix it? The first thing you will need to do is to get clear on your brand. How do you want to position your brand as a whole? What values, missions, and stories are important to your brand?
Something that can truly help is doing brand research in the form of interviews and surveys. Talking to people including your staff, as well as current and former clients, can give you a bit of insight into where your brand alignment may not be lining up properly.
A strategically and clearly aligned brand is one that, at the end of the day, resonates with your audience, clients, and customers.