Belief-based branding

Trends in the business world are a lot like many a New Year’s resolution: top of mind in December and January, too far-fetched to attain and almost certainly forgotten by year's end.

From Forbes to Fortune and beyond, experts are forecasting 2016’s hottest trends in PR, social media and marketing. These fascinating analyses, predictions and lists do an excellent job at highlighting what might change, or has already started to change, in our industry.

But the one thing that will never change — and in my mind is the most important — is defining and sharing what your company believes in.

What does your brand stand for? Do you treat your employees and customers in ways that embody those beliefs every day of the year?

The beautiful thing about identifying beliefs is that it immediately defines and narrows the target customer, or employee. Some use the term belief-based branding, a strategy that focuses on what a brand stands for over touting product benefits and features. I posit that all efforts — including marketing and branding — should be founded upon what a company believes.

There is only one resolution that you and your company should set in 2016 to be stronger, more efficient, engaging and successful: Establish what you believe in and uphold those beliefs in every action.

Easier said than done, I know. But aren’t all resolutions that way?

— Rachel Haas, senior brand strategist