In the mining industry, we typically don't think of branding as highly necessary. Of course branding is essential for mining vendors and contractors to set themselves apart from competition. Many of the major producers have set themselves apart in brand recognition out of pure necessities.
For exploration, juniors and mid-cap companies, when results are most important and essential for growth, the company brand is typically an afterthought.
If you do a quick analysis of many mining company names and logos, would you be able to perceive that the general public is able to discern exactly what you do and the value your provide? How about their website?
For example, would a first-glance introduction to your company allow someone to understand you are a gold producer? What if you are a copper-nickel producer in British Columbia? Could someone make a general assumption of this based on your current branding techniques?
Branding is fundamental for mining companies to build value in their operations and social license. A strong brand adds value to your mines by objectifying itself as a trustworthy and efficient operation for its communities.
A mine's brand is more than a simple logo. It is the over-arching extension of the operation into the community and the public. It includes external communications, a website, social media and employees.
A strong brand of a mining company portrays the positive experience of operations and the industry as a whole. It is the pathway to social trust and clarity.
Here are some of the extraordinary benefits a mining company's brand can establish:
An Established Brand Promotes Public Trust
We have accepted that past mistakes have deterred some public trust in mining operations. Many refuse to acknowledge, or are simply unaware, of the progress in safety, engineering, environmental stewardship and delivery of material the industry has achieved in the past few decades.
If we begin to establish a brand that engages with the public in effective and positive ways, those perceptions can begin to be swayed. Vista Gold's Mt Todd project is a great example of re-establishing public licensing through positive information dissemination. Since acquiring the project in 2006, Vista Gold has worked diligently to return the brownfield project to prominence with the necessary social license. Since Vista's involvement, significant progress has been made toward mitigating and treating acidic water at the site while Vista has explored and evaluated the property.
A Brand will Connect the Value you Provide to the Public
In essence, a company's brand is the packaged value of the overall company. The brand is the supply line of the company's DNA to the public forum. If you, as a mining company, are proud of the value you provide, you should also be proud to share those values.
Branding develops financial value, so think about how you want to be regarded in both local communities and on a global industry level. What will deliver the most effective results?
A Brand Sets you Apart from other Companies
The ideas and values a mining organizations holds dear are important factors in standing out from the crowd of other mining companies. Those same values should be represented in your company's brand.
This may be one of the most difficult tasks for an organizations to tackle. In this unique industry, how does a single mining organization make itself different from the rest? Is it technological approaches? Geographical differences? To answer these questions, a leadership-level brainstorming session may be essential.
A great example of setting a brand apart from other companies is Goldcorp's approach in technology disruptions within the industry. It has championed these developments, not only for its own integration, but for the benefit of the entire industry as well.
Your Brand Provides Motivation for Your Staff
The best branding in mining is built on a strong idea, something that you and your team can commit to and deliver on. The brand needs to be felt through your entire organization, including all staff. When a mining organization is clear on a brand and can deliver that promise, loyalty among your communities will follow suit.
A Strong Brand Promotes Recognition
People tend to trust and communicate with companies they are familiar with. If your branding is consistent and easy to recognize, it can help people feel more at ease in supporting operational developments throughout the lifecycle of a mine.
Furthermore, recognition can go beyond the social license. At Clear Creek Digital, we challenge our partners to look inward from a public perspective. What we mean by this is simple. Instead of considering yourself, for example, a gold producer in Mexico, can you put communications and branding strategies in place for the public to consider you "The Best" or "Most Sustainable" gold producer in Mexico? This is just one example of how branding can promote an incredible scope of recognition.
A Unique Brand Attracts New Investors
Obviously exploration, drill and production results will lead to more investor capital and liquidity. This is essential. But a recognizable and trustworthy brand can enhance those results as well. If the brand of our mining organizations is open in its information and provides the most transparent communications possible, investors will grab attention.
According to David Coe of Investor Torque, 62% of brokers and heads of UK trading desks say social media sentiment now influences share prices. Since social media in an integral part of a company's branding strategy, you can see why branding is incredibly important for capital investment.
In summary, branding is becoming a crucial part for a mining organization to set itself apart from others. Your brand will engage public support, influence investors, promote recognition and motivate your staff. If you have interest in strengthening your mining company's brand, please reach out to Clear Creek Digital. We will put a strategy in place to do just that, no matter what stage of the mine lifecycle you are in.