Building Brand Equity One Touchpoint At A Time

touch pointsWritten by Alex Valderrama, Founder and Principal of Cranium Agency

Many years ago I worked as a phlebotomist at a major medical center while I attended design school. Little did I know at the time I would be a part of a major branding effort by the hospital’s laboratory. Let me explain. When I was hired, I was always taught to speak in a professional, caring way, and always to dress in black slacks, a belt and a light button up dress shirt. Also, we were required to wear our lab coat with our hospital issued name badge that was to be visible at all times. At the time, I was told that when we entered the patient’s room to draw blood, we were representing the laboratory of the hospital and our contact was most likely the only contact the patient would have with the laboratory. I, of course, did everything the laboratory administrators directed us to do. I quickly found out how much the patients respected the laboratory, our visits to their rooms and the importance of good representation.

After graduating design school and starting my company, I became a student of branding; it’s principles, and I clearly understood the importance of brand loyalty and equity as it directly affects a company’s brand perception. As I reflect back to my early days of representing the laboratory, I can not get over how similar my responsibility as a Phlebotomist was the same as the responsibility that many people have in representing their company – and how important it is to have a strong brand impression that supports the company in its efforts.

Developing a strong brand strategy can be one of the most difficult steps in the marketing plan process. It is often the individual brand element that causes the biggest challenge to most businesses, but it is an integral step in creating the company identity. We compel our clients to wrestle with what their organization truly stands for and what makes them valuable to their customers. Through several workshops, we ask them to think about who they are today, who they aspire to be, and who their customers want them to be.

Finally, a brand is not just a logo or a trademark. A brand is the accumulation of all the touch points your brand has with your current and potentially new customers. This means that every point of contact with customers, partners and suppliers is essential to building those lasting impressions – from the way you answer the phone to individual sales activities. It is important to deliver the right message and stay consistent to achieve your goals.

About Alex Valderrama

Alex Valderrama
Alex Valderrama is one of the nation’s top Brand Strategists, Award-winning Designer, Author, and the Principal at Cranium. Through his unique experience working with several hundred clients, he has helped many brands lead in their industry with Business Growth, Brand Strategy and Customer Experience Design. Alex has worked with some of Nation’s most well-known brands such as Truven Health Analytics, Principal Financial, Citi Community Capital, Massey Ferguson, Microsoft, Wells Fargo, Gates Rubber, National CineMedia, and Fathom Events. In addition, he has also worked with small businesses such as Basil Doc’s Pizza, Spavia, Santa Claran Hotel, and Aldo Leopardi just to name a few. Alex gained his BFA at the International Academy of Design with emphasis in Visual Communications. He also achieved the honor of Summa cum laude. Alex has taught advanced branding and marketing courses at Arapahoe Community College and Metropolitan State University in Denver, Colorado. In the past, he has been the curriculum advisor to several universities as well as a mentor to both students and interns. Alex has served as a judge for several national branding and marketing competitions. He lectures regularly on branding and marketing throughout the design community and the business sector. Alex has also served as a marketing board member and independent branding advisor for several community development projects, non-profit organizations, business groups and marketing associations. Additionally, Alex has held several board positions with the local American Institute of Graphic Arts (AIGA) and Business Marketing Association (BMA) Chapters. Alex frequently writes about branding and his agency has received over 80 national and international awards from esteemed industry competitions such as Print Magazine, Graphics and American Corporate Identity. His work has also appeared in over 20 international publications such as: The Big Book of Logos 3; The Best of Business Card Design 5; Blue is Hot, Red is Cool; Direct Response Graphics Book; Rockport’s Letterhead; Logo Design 6 Source Book; and, Best of Brochure Design 5 just to name a few.

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