Those who remain true to themselves change! Said another way, if we consistently adapt to the circumstances around us, we transform ourselves by evolving. Organically, then, we become the best example of what holistic means.
The same thing could be said about a business when we speak of holistic branding, the linkage and ongoing connection between brand management and company processes. Whether it’s a start-up, SME or large corporation selling either a product or service, holistic branding always depends on how you represent the complexity of the whole.
Brand representation is not only a logo or a business image; It also stands for a behavior, a lifestyle and how an organization expresses and implements its complexity on a global level with a concise and meaningful message its consumers understand.
Within an organization, holistic branding applies management’s clear thinking and their strategic application of values that guide the entirety of the enterprise. This is apart from, but equally important as, the financial concerns and structure of the company. It is the creative and skillful staging of an organization’s brand representation from A to Z, the result of which is increased competitive advantage and higher market status. “Less but better” is the guiding principle. The implementation of this strategy must be clearly defined in all respects and at every level of the organization to position the DNA of a company/brand in a targeted manner. Management’s authenticity of approach and its consistency of application will create a mandate for a successful brand experience.
Where does holistic branding start and where does it end? Entrepreneurs ask themselves this question among others when defining the DNA of their business. That definition must be evident in the brand’s physical markings (logo, ads, etc.), it’s legal registration and patent protection(s) as well as in the unmistakable concept or representations the company is attempting to achieve (environmental sustainability, fair trade, etc.).
As such, the brand becomes a mark of achievement and strength for the business from which consumers and employees derive positive meaning. In this way, the soul of the business is revealed and becomes anchored within the demographic target group. Consumer trust and loyalty results, which provides the company with an advantage over its competitors. Clearly defined and recognized holistic brand identity becomes an outstanding differentiator for the business. Consumers value this difference and become willing to pay a premium for the brand, thereby increasing profitability, market security and valuation. This value-based effect also attracts and retains higher quality employees who identify positively with the premium brand.
Holistic branding, therefore, becomes a guide for the business and plays a pivotal role within the complexities of strategic business planning and brand management. The philosophy of management must include this guide to create the relevant measures and activities that strategically unfold. Continuity of the strategy creates consumer and employee trust, loyalty and a sense of connecting emotionally to the brand in a positive manner.
A brand’s strength and the goals to be achieved by management through holistic branding depend on several parameters – namely differentiation, dialogue, penetration and long-term relationship / loyalty. The balance of these, as well as the simultaneous linking of these elements, is crucial for success! Therefore, it is important for management to maintain consistency in its strategic approach, to set defined measurements and to remain true to its core values.
Differentiation – uniqueness paired with individuality and originality. What makes the brand special and different from others?
Dialogue – interaction and experience through brand staging. Only with strong differentiation can you achieve relationship management and desired bonding with consumers and employees!
Penetration – is achieved with a logo, imagery, tonality and associated buildup of awareness as well as brand recall. Continuity will help to consolidate this as a “top of mind position” for the brand.
Lasting relationship / – connection – follows from the acceptance of what is presented and experienced by the consumer. Enthusiasm can generate popularity and create trust, loyalty in behavior and result in obtaining and maintaining a strong base of brand “fans.”