The term “brand identity” encompasses a company’s presentation of itself to its customers, target audiences and employees. A brand identity is an accumulation of messages a business sends to the world – and all the ways in which it sends them, from logos and colors to fonts and boilerplate. When crafted carefully, a brand identity represents a unique promise from a memorable messenger that helps attract new customers, drive brand loyalty from existing ones, and retain engaged employees.
For cleaning industry businesses of all sizes, including manufacturers, distributors and cleaning service providers, the COVID-19 pandemic likely forced some kind of unexpected adaptation, whether it was staffing changes, budget cuts or supply chain disruptions. These changes may affect the alignment between brand identity and reality. With a new standard of cleanliness in place, now is a prudent time for organisations to audit and analyze their brand identities – and possibly recreate them.
The cleaning industry plays a key role in society, protecting the public from infectious pathogens and keeping our cherished spaces – homes, schools, offices, restaurants, airports and more – safe and inviting. There is potential for many cleaning brands to reach new audiences, harness trends more effectively and transform their visual personalities. By examining the following elements of your brand’s identity, you can identify potential areas of improvement.
Cleaning product and service providers should develop a clear mission statement, vision statement and brand values to feature prominently – and potentially in multiple languages – on their websites. It is important that the mission and vision statements align with the company’s values. For example, a cleaning brand with the mission of keeping people safe and healthy should identify their support for public and employee wellbeing as a key corporate value. A cleaning brand focused on protecting the environment should value sustainable operations.
What separates your brand from its competition? The unique value a cleaning brand brings to its customers should align neatly with its mission and values, and is often summed up in a memorable tagline. For example, ABCO Cleaning Products has a completely vertically integrated supply chain, meaning they control every step in their products’ development up until it reaches a distributor. This makes reliability a unique selling proposition for ABCO, along with its efforts to care for employees working at its manufacturing plant in Honduras. The company’s tagline, “Lean on us”, encompasses its trustworthiness and care for its people – both employees and customers.
Not all organisations have updated brand guidelines for the increasingly digital business landscape – but they should. Having clean, consistent, visually appealing communications can give cleaning industry brands a competitive advantage. It is important to invest necessary resources in creative professionals – designers, typographers, illustrators and copywriters – who can create logos and select fonts, color palettes and other elements that bring your brand to life. Whether you engage an outside agency or rely on in-house talent, valuing the abilities of creative professionals elevates the role of design and user experience and results in a properly presented brand.
Today’s broad range of available messaging channels gives organisations potential to reach new prospects without draining their marketing budget. An effective cleaning industry marketing strategy identifies key objectives, target audiences, as well as a brand voice, key messages and channels. Taking advantage of all possible communications channels, including PR, social media (especially LinkedIn), company blogs and print and online advertising may require partnering with a communications agency or hiring new team members to execute the message strategy. Communications professionals can offer expertise and value in a range of ways, from establishing trust and credibility with social media messaging to creating targeted media pitches that result in free publicity for the brand.
New brand identities aren’t built overnight. First, a commercial cleaning brand should take stock of its current mission, values, brand guidelines and message strategy. It’s also important to stay apprised of key industry and societal trends that may impact your messaging, your target audiences and more. For example, with the realization that the coronavirus spread through the air, indoor air quality became an important topic of discussion. Additionally, employees and customers increasingly expect brands to be good corporate citizens, operating in environmentally, economically and socially sustainable ways. Communicating corporate social responsibility (CSR) can be a critical part of the brand identity process.
Whether developing a brand identity from the ground up for a new organisation or making adjustments for a legacy brand, consider the above elements and engage communications and design professionals in the process. Building, or rebuilding, a clear and compelling brand identity requires careful analysis and a diverse array of expertise. However, doing so can set cleaning industry brands apart from the competition by effectively communicating a brand’s values and promises while building trust and credibility.
Need help crafting your cleaning industry brand’s identity? Contact us today to discuss a brand transformation for your business.
Thomas Jilk is a Senior Account Executive at Mulberry Marketing Communications, an award-winning full-service B2B communications agency based in Chicago, London, and Australia. He uses his journalism and marketing skills to tell compelling brand stories for clients.