Advertising is a key to solid brand building. When you think of ads and advertising, what comes to mind? For most people it’s usually television or print advertising. For some it may be web banner ads and pre-roll ads they see on YouTube.

But philosophically it goes much deeper than that.

brand building

“Advertising” means so much more than the messages you broadcast in the marketplace. In fact, any message or communication you produce for internal or external consumption is a form of advertising. Whether it’s an internal memo, a social media post or paid advertising, building a consistent, honest, and solid brand message has to be done with a holistic perspective.

“Why,” you ask? It’s simple.

The internet and digital communication like social media have given audiences access to information like never before. To compound the issue, that communication is instantaneous.

In an age where your customers have such ready access to data and information about your brand, it’s imperative that you are “on message” in every aspect of your brand communication. And this consistency must extend from your front-line staff members, right into your board rooms and C-suite. If there are gaps any place within your communication chain, like water it will find a way to seep through any crack.

Look at your company and make sure everyone is using the same brand vocabulary, the same imagery, and the same communication strategy throughout the organization.

In short, if there is any area where your brand messaging is out of tune or inconsistent with what your customers are experiencing it is going to find it’s way out of your walls and into the public square. You can’t stop it, you cannot contain it. There are just too many ways for the truth about your brand experience to find the light of day.

The best way to protect your brand message is to take a holistic approach.

Look at your brand and make sure everyone is using the same vocabulary, the same imagery, and the same communication strategy throughout the organization. Whether internal or external, all communications must reflect the values and messages that are embodied in your brand promise.

This helps instill within your culture the values and personality that you want reflected to your customers. It makes that brand message real and authentic, and ensures that wherever anyone interacts with your brand, whether it’s the product itself, or a representative of your brand… that experience will be true to your brand values and have a positive impact.

In this age people are looking for true, honest brand experiences.

By taking an “everything is an ad” approach, you are optimizing the opportunities for your audience to have those authentic experiences and, better still, creating strong advocates for your brand.

So keep in mind that ads aren’t just confined to what you’re paying for display or social media. They are a natural extension of every communication or expression inside and outside your organization. Keep them on brand, on message and true to your brands character.

This will go a long toward insuring your customers embrace and evangelize about their positive experiences. Because when it comes to brand building and maintaining healthy market share, everything truly is an ad.