“Before you ask one of your customers what they think your brand stands for, try asking yourself. Then ask a few members of your team. In an ideal world you’ll all be saying the same thing. But it’s unlikely,” says KISS Communications Creative Director, Richard Bland. “Too many businesses rely on a logotype and a whizzy website to represent their brand, forgetting that these are only expressions of a brands true essence. Something that lies at the heart of a business and needs to live within everything the company does or says,” believes Richard. “The sad thing is, getting it right is often much easier than getting it wrong. Bored with seeing or hearing the same thing over and over again, there’s a tendency to want to change things, imagining that customers or prospects will be excited by a dynamic business that switches its tone or look every five minutes. “Newness is vital to a brands’ communications such as its advertising, but the brand’s essence must always remain true. “The reality is that a lack of focus at the core usually creates confusion or sets off alarm bells; raising questions such as: ‘Don’t they know what they stand for?’, ‘Who’s running the ship?’, and ‘How reliable are they?’ etc. “Making your brand work harder and more effectively takes a little time but pays dividends in the long term. Firstly define precisely who you are and what you stand for, usually with a simple workshop. Carry out an audit of your current brand and adjust as necessary. Commit the results to a simple brand book and make sure your whole team has a copy, and uses it.” Richard concluded, “The results should be a brand that feels bigger, more professional, more reliable and therefore more competitive – which has to make sense.” Richard Bland has over 30 years’ experience in branding helping businesses of all types, shapes and sizes to make their mark. KISS Communications is one of the East of England’s leading branding agencies, working with blue chip companies such as Anglian Water, Bokomo Foods, PlastiKote, SISK, Booking.com, and successful SMEs, including Cambridge Past Present & Future, IMRG, Plus Partnership, Geomerics and One Nucleus.