neocon speaking-lisaIn the past we’ve written about staying productive during a slow summer, which may be necessary for the highs and lows in any business at various times of the year. We’ve conveniently been occupied with an active start to the summer season, along with some travel. (Pardon us as we make an excuse for not writing…tsk tsk, we know!)

This season is off to a busy start for some of our clients, partners and friends as well. A few weeks ago, a friend and client partner of ours, Lisa Gilmore of Lisa Gilmore Design, attended and spoke at the NeoCon event (go Lisa!) about “Brand Identity Through Interior Design.” Prior to her departure, she asked us to respond to a few smart questions around branding and we thought we’d share our responses with you post-event, as you may find the info helpful or relevant to your branding needs:

In your opinion, what are the most important elements when building a brand?
Establishing a clear brand message and tone. It’s easy to get excited about brand building, but the end result should allow your customer to be able to explain it and feel good about experiencing your brand. Even if your brand has a je nais se quoi quality, that elusiveness leaves an emotion and you want it to be a positive one. After you get beyond the appearance, ask yourself, what does your customer walk away with? What will she say? How does she feel?

In your opinion, what makes a brand timeless/live longer?
Great service, great product and connection with your customers. Focus on these areas and you’ll have a timeless brand. Everything else you can hire someone else to fix, tweak and build along the way.

Does a brand ever vary per region? Or can it work across the globe?
Brands can definitely vary per region, but the core message should remain the same and work across the globe. A company that expands into other markets may incorporate local elements that relate to their clientele in that area, but at the core, the standard message will stay the same. The uniqueness of the brand should stay intact regardless of the region. It’s like a person, just because you change into a different outfit to suit a situation doesn’t change who you are. A great dress or suit and pair of shoes may make you feel more confident in a board meeting, but it doesn’t mean you lose your sense of humor. (Well, it shouldn’t.)

What is a common mistake people make when trying to create a brand?
Only thinking about themselves and not whom they’re serving.

What tips do you have regarding branding? What are your favorite brands and how do they make you feel? And tell us how your summer is going ~ we hope you’re having a productive and fun one!

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