A big statement I know; let me explain why…
Ultimately an organisation’s brand is a reflection of how they present, interact & communicate with the world.
Your brand, irrelevant of whether you have been established for a number of years, a short while or are a new start-up, carries equity & weight to your organisation which can equate to financial benefit.
It is the social value of your organisation, that generates sales, builds market presence and drives customer loyalty, determined purely through recognition and prospect/customer perception of the quality, desirability or need of that brand’s products or services.
So What Makes Up Your Brand?
There are a number of elements that ultimately make up your brand and its equity; it’s not just a logo or a strapline like some may think, although these do contribute to it.
We can break this down into a number of attributes:
- Impression – this is, as it says, the impression that your prospects and customers receive and remember every time they see your brand in terms of the logo, fonts, colours, language, icons, representations etc. It is also the presentation repetition of your brand that creates an impression. This might be how many times they see it via your marketing materials, marketing campaigns, on social media channels, your website, email marketing campaigns, and whatever other touch points that you utilise in your marketing activity.
- Value Proposition – this centres around the product or service offering and overall elements that make your brand attractive to customers and prospects. This could include the ‘pain point’ solutions being offered, or values that the business aligns to, such as sustainability, ESG approach, or mission statement.
- Benefits – as in benefits to the customer (always worth remembering “What’s In It For Them”!). By communicating the end result benefits of your products/services and brand (as in why would they want to deal with you) you are telling them what they are actually getting. It’s not necessarily about an electrical re-wire or a new IT plug-in, it’s really about peace of mind or improving the working environment and productivity of your people and teams.
- Price Positioning – unless you’re absolutely ground floor necessity the value that your product or service brings to a consumer and the quality of that added value will always allow command of a higher price positioning. Many discerning consumers will interrogate why one brand is at a higher (or lower) price point versus another to find out why and what they get (or don’t!) in addition to the physical product or service they are investing in.
- Customer Service / Experience – vital to any business to create repeat sales, advocates and ambassadors for word of mouth referrals (still the most impactful marketing tool just for info!) through testimonials, feedback surveys and the like.
But Why Is It Important?
By continuously enhancing & building on your brand you
- create a positive lasting first impression externally to prospects, funders, and investors making your products & services more attractive and desirable.
- present the values by which your brand operates. This can quickly attract prospects who hold the same or similar values highly and entice them to either find out more or to buy.
- demonstrate your organisation’s personality. By incorporating your logo, messaging and language you can quickly purvey the personality associated with your brand and how your organisation operates.
- create competitive advantage, differentiating your proposition over your competitors’ whether that be by the product/service offering or the brand attributes we have discussed above.
- showcase the culture within your organisation to prospective employees, investors, funders, and consumers, as well as reiterating that to your people.
- create assurance in terms of professionalism, reliability, and quality, all positive association externally with your customers, prospects and even your supply chain.
- build trust. I am sure you will have heard of the phrase “Know, Like, Trust” this is creating exactly that! By leveraging your brand you let the outside world become acquainted with your organisation and offering, capturing those who like what you are offering and buidling trust in your brand, ultimately generating repeat sales, customer loyalty and brand ambassadors sharing their experiences.
- make your organisation identifiable, and thereby associated with your brand values, personality, and proposition.
- build your brand presence and reputation in the marketplace, generating more interest, enquiries and drawing more consumers into your sales funnel.
So How Do We Max Our Brand Impact?
Logic would determine that the more we max out our brand, the more gains we will reap, the greater our brand presence and reputation, more sales, more brand ambassadors and so on. But how do we do that?
Here’s what I would suggest
- Ensure there is a unified and consistent approach across all elements of your brand that we discussed above. All communications internal & external should reflect the branding guidelines, message and language. The more unified the approach the stronger the brand, the more valued and positively perceived the asset.
- Be in it for the longer term. This is highly unlikely to explode overnight, especially if you’re new to the market or are in a heavily saturated market. Building a strong brand, a strong presence and recognition definitely takes time, but when you do the rewards are endless.
- Tell people! Tell people about your brand, your organisation, the people within your organisation (another valuable asset for your organisation!), your business values, your sustainability / ESG policies & processes, what makes you different, what your customers can expect, what people love to say about you. Your brand creates so much marketing content it’s unreal. But unless you tell the world about it, how will they know…?
In short, your brand should be like a badge of honour that you want to wear, one you want to shout about through a microphone, whether you’re the business owner, an employee or an investor. If you’re proud to show it off then you’re definitely doing good work on building one of the most valuable assets within your organisation. If you’d rather wear it on the inside of your lapel or keep it in your desk drawer, you might have some work to do…
Does your brand work as hard as it could do for you?
Is it helping to build your reputation, sales and profit?
Does it align with your values and those of your customers?
I help organisations supercharge their brand presence and reputation, driving financial results, via core marketing principles. I’d love to chat and see if I can help your business.