MindFire Communications, Inc.
Branding 101: Cover your brand touchpoints
June 11, 2010 | Inga Rundquist

Take a minute and think about all the different ways your brand interacts with your customers, prospects, suppliers and employees.

Then, ask yourself, "Am I in control of these interactions? Am I confident that these ‘touchpoints’ fully represent my brand and what it stands for?”

If you answered "no,” you’re putting your brand’s success in the hands of others, and you may be at risk of losing control completely.

Your audience experiences your brand in many different ways – through your products, facilities, packaging, pricing, marketing, sales team, invoices, etc. Each of these touch points shapes the way they think and experience your brand. It’s your responsibility to make sure all touchpoints line up with your brand promise and personality.

Feeling overwhelmed? Don’t be! Instead of dreading the task of managing all your brand touchpoints, look at it as an opportunity to shape your customers’ brand experience. Here are some tips to get you started:

  • Before you do anything, make sure you have a clear understanding of what your brand is. You should be able to articulate succinctly what your brand is and what you promise to deliver to customers day in and day out.
  • Identify your brand touch points. Start by making a list of all the different types of audiences that interact with your brand – such as customers, prospects, suppliers, employees, etc. Next, brainstorm a list of all brand touchpoints for these audience groups. It’s a good idea to ask people throughout your company for input, too. Many touchpoints come from other areas besides marketing.
  • Next, break your touch points into three categories – the pre-purchase experience, the purchase experience and the post-purchase experience. By grouping them into these categories you will be able to make sure you are paying attention to touch points for all these different experiences.
  • Conduct a touchpoint audit. Take a long, hard look at your current materials and assess whether they are representative of your brand promise. Most people are pretty surprised to see the wide variety of messaging, graphic standards and design across all materials.
  • Since you cannot focus on all touch points at once, prioritize those that truly drive customer experience and address those materials first. Make sure you are addressing at least one touchpoint from each category.
  • Finally, appoint someone who will be responsible for making sure all touch points moving forward adhere to your brand standards. This will make managing and overseeing your touch points much easier.

Managing your brand touchpoints can be a daunting challenge. But by taking a methodical and systematic approach, you can be sure you are staying on message and conveying your brand promise with everything you put out there.

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