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The Key to Building Strong Brand Connections

Kallee Mendonca

Making brand connectionsLast week I had the pleasure of attending a Women Business Leaders event bosted by the Eugene Area Chamber of Commerce. As an active subscriber to Sheryl Sandberg’s Lean In community and mentality, I love being a part of a city that puts emphasis and support behind the women who contribute to our business landscape. Girl power is a real thing to me!

The Confidence Recipe

The Chamber brought in Katherine Johnson from Portland, Oregon. She is the founder and owner of Spark: Ignite Your Signature Style. This event’s topic was “The Confidence Recipe: Align Your Presence & Personal Brand.” The talk centered on building connections with others and allowing yourself to open up and share your energy with others. Johnson specifically focused her discussion on the message we broadcast as individuals based on the three pillars of presence—gravitas, communication, and appearance—and then dove deeper into how our appearance creates a filter based on how everything else is evaluated.

Using Brand Connections to Strengthen Your Brand

While I learned some personal takeaways, I couldn’t help but think of the same discussion from a branding perspective. It goes back to the fundamentals of developing a brand that matches your product, culture, and message. They must all align in order for your audience to believe and want to invest in you. If one is off, your brand is creating confusion and pushing mixed messaging.

For example, let’s say you own a hair salon. Your marketing message positions your salon as being modern, up with the trends, and staffed with lively hairdressers. But when you walk through the doors of the salon, you see outdated, sterile décor that lacks any modern finishes. Nine times out of 10, your clientele will feel confused and go somewhere else to get the experience they were promised. It’s the walk-the-talk principle, and clients want you to follow through with who you say you are.

A Westie Favorite

At 116 & West, we pride ourselves in developing successful brands that are built to form connections with their targets. While I feel we have many noteworthy client examples, I am particularly proud of one client.

The brand statements of Kendall Auto Group communicate that they are a family-owned, low-pressure group of car dealerships that focus on the customer first. They center everything they do on relationships with the customers, community, and their employees. A lot of car dealers try to say they do all of this. But when you walk onto their car lot, you get something completely different. That is not the case with Kendall. You get everything they promise and more, with people who really care about their customers and do more than sell cars. You can feel that the branding is true to who Kendall is, and to me, that’s the perfect recipe for a successful connection.

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