February 18, 2014

CVS Anti-Smoking Campaign: The Importance of Staying True to Your Brand

CVS, the largest pharmacy chain in the United States, recently made the decision to stop selling cigarettes and other tobacco products in all of its 7,600 stores in order to maintain its healthy brand image.

“We’ve come to the decision that cigarettes have no place in an environment where healthcare is being delivered,” said Larry Merlo, the chief executive of CVS Caremark. This bold and expensive move– which is estimated to cost the company $2 billion in annual sales –got us thinking about the importance of staying true to your brand.

Your brand identity, or how you want consumers and the market to perceive your brand, goes far beyond your logo. Rather, it represents your values, services, ideas, and personality. A strong brand identity can help set you apart from competitors and foster loyalty, trust and credibility. However, maintaining a strong corporate image can be difficult especially when you’re engaging with consumers across various communication channels like social, blogs, and email. Let’s take a look at a few guidelines to maintaining a strong and consistent brand identity.

1. Establish a Strong, Unified Voice: One of the first steps in establishing brand identity is creating a strong voice. The tone you choose is a major identifier for your brand and will determine what type of consumers you attract. Therefore, make sure it aligns with your core values and personality. For example, if you’re a laid back company, your blog and social media posts should have a conversational tone as opposed to a stiff and corporate voice.

2. Always be Consistent: Consistency is another important aspect in building a memorable and recognizable brand. The quality of content you produce and the amount of times you post should be consistent. Posting low-quality content will tarnish your brands creditability while posting not enough, or sporadically, can annoy followers.

3. Humanize Your Brand: Don’t forget to show your “human side” when writing content. Consumers are more likely to engage with brands to which they feel a connection. When creating content, make sure it addresses your audience’s biggest pain points and challenges. You never want to come off to salesy as this will just turn consumers off.

4. Be Original: No one wants to do business with a brand that’s just like the rest. Create original thought provoking content that establishes your brand as a thought leader and pioneer in your respective space.

Your logo is just a small piece that holds your brand identity together. Look at the bigger picture and make sure every element—from your blog to your social media accounts to your website—complements with one another. We applaud CVS in its quest to build a better brand identity and we challenge you to reevaluate your brand identity for 2014. 

Edited by Brooke Neuman

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