The Road to Absolute Perfection by Bill Valway
by Bill Valway
October 7th, 2014

Is Your Company Identity Schizophrenic?

You’re probably asking yourself, “what do you mean is my company identity  schizophrenic?” You know, when you have so many ideas that it’s hard to concentrate on just one – or branding has gotten so crazy you don’t even know which logo is your current one, and let’s face it – you don’t even have a mission statement. Does this sound familiar?

As an entrepreneur, getting off track like this is easy to do. I’ll admit I’m guilty of this type of branding schizophrenia, because this is a little like what my company, Absolute Perfection (AP), looked like in the beginning. So how did I fix it? I’ll let you in on a few things that helped me get my business together in hopes that it might be of some assistance to you.

“I don’t want to be ‘just a tinter’ anymore.”

When AP first started, I had kind of hit a wall. I was tired of being “just a tinter.” I told my brother I was done messing around and that I wanted to work for him, but he told me something that made me really think. I wasn’t just a tinter; I was the CEO of a company. He told me I could make the company whatever I wanted. Although that kept me going, I didn’t know that little piece of advice would drive me to where I am today.

So, that’s kind of how our other divisions got started. When we first started vehicle wrapping and media, we kind of just flew by the seat of our pants. I’ll be honest, I had no idea what I was doing, but that’s why it’s so important to surround yourself by talented and driven people who do know what they’re doing. So that’s what I did. As our divisions grew, we brought on lead designer, Brandon Antol. That’s when the whole branding thing came together.

“Your branding reminds me of my schizophrenic ex-girlfriend.”

I think Brandon’s statement says it all; we needed help getting our brand identity together. As a multifaceted company, we have many things to offer, but all of our divisions are a part of the same entity.

As you can see, our brand has changed a lot since 2001.

As you can see, our brand has changed a lot since 2001.

 

Thanks to the help of Brandon, our branding is right where it needs to be.

Thanks to the help of Brandon, our branding is right where it needs to be.

Do you have a schizophrenic company?

Here are five things you can ask yourself:

  1. Do you have a mission statement?
  2. Do you have more than two variations of your logo?
  3. Do you have specific branding colors? Are you sticking to them?
  4. Are all of your listings on online directories correct? How do you know for sure?
  5. Are you using more than three fonts on your website?
    • You’re probably asking yourself why that even matters. I know I did, but coming from our lead designer, “it definitely matters – and that’s why I’m here.”

All of these aspects are really important when it comes to branding and building the personality of a company, something I didn’t know much about in the beginning. If you’re struggling with consistent and effective branding, here are some tips for achieving the look and feel you want:

Building Your Brand

Brand is defined as creating a unique image and message for a person, company, product or service in the mind of a consumer. If you’re starting a business, personal branding is just as important as company branding. Many consumers associate a business with their leaders. When you think of Apple, what’s the first thing that comes to mind? Steve Jobs. Microsoft? Bill Gates. Facebook? Mark Zuckerberg … or your nosy in-law and the mom who posts way too many baby pictures. The point is these people reflect on the image of their company. It’s important to have a personal branded image that you want people to associate you and your company as.

Tips for Personal and Company Branding

“Don’t be afraid to assert yourself, have confidence in your abilities and don’t let the bastards get you down.”
-Michael Bloomberg

Your brand is you, what you want to be, and how you want to be viewed. So think. What do you value? What do you hope to achieve? Here are a few tips that helped me figure it out.

  1. Pick two things you want to be the go-to person for and focus your energy on them.
    For me, I wanted to be known for tinting and marketing. Tinting was obvious for me. It’s all I’ve done since I was 15, but the marketing side of things was kind of special. It helped my grow my business, but also help other businesses grow through car wraps or “traveling billboards,” website design, online marketing and video production.
  2. Hire a professional to build your brand. You should have as much say in your brand as you can. You want to correctly display who you are and what your company means, but you shouldn’t go at it on your own. Hire a professional to do your designs, pick a color scheme and stick to it, and pick two to three fonts that you use for everything. This will help you remain consistent in branding and confirms your credibility.
  3. Build your network – online and offline. You should be constantly looking for ways to grow your personal and professional network with people who share similar goals and interests with you.
  4. Construct a mission statement, define your goals and values, and constantly revisit them. A vision should constantly be in place, a solid plan with goals and values that gives you something to strive for. But once that plan is in place, it doesn’t mean it can’t be changed. A little effort put forth for branding goes a long way.

Stay tuned for the next blog on business listing management.

 

RELATED: IWFA Launches New Branding Campaign

This blog is from Focus on Film, the weekly e-newsletter that covers the latest news regarding window film and related products, including paint protection film. Click HERE to sign up—there is no charge. Interested in a deeper dive? Free subscriptions to Window Film magazine in print or digital format are available. Subscribe at no charge HERE.

Tags: , ,

Leave Comment