Push back to adopt brand development from the business owner can sometimes be very frustrating. You’re under fire to deliver quality leads to sales — recent tactics of PR, Ads and SEO just aren’t working. You struggle to find true marketplace differentiation but you are not sure exactly what that is. Your messaging is all over the place and the boss wants results.
Don’t give up! We’ve put together a few things to help you look more seriously at why it’s more important than ever to take the time to develop your brand and to help you start coming up with a pitch to turn things around.
In today’s economy, we have 10 to 20 of everything. People begin their purchases by going to the internet or by asking their friends. They block out nearly all advertising. 70% of the purchase decision is over before a customer even contacts a sales person or purchases something from you. Today, brands must go above and beyond to prove trust and authenticity to their customers. One bad experience — and it’s all over Facebook. Below are 5 myths debunked to help you answer your critics on the need to engage in brand development.
1. Your brand is your logo
Myth. Your logo is just one piece of your brand. Your brand consists of many things: what a customer thinks, feels, tastes, experiences, hears and sees, the good, bad and the ugly about your brand. A fresh, clean and clever logo is very important as it’s usually the first thing customers’ experience.
2. Brand development is expensive
Not a myth. It’s funny how many companies try to do brand development on their own because they’ve gone down the road of trying to hire a branding agency and have gotten back an estimate that curls their toes. But when trying to conduct it themselves they end up screwing up their brand further and spending more money than they would if they would’ve just hired the branding agency. The brand development process takes a lot of work and is priced accordingly. Many hours are spent on research, competitive analysis, communication audits, customer interviews and plenty of time thinking and thinking and thinking. Brand Development is an exhaustive process. To develop a successful brand, you must have a professional brand strategist to provide fresh perspective, insight and direction.
3. Brand development does not need input from your employees
Not a myth. An employee by definition is: a person working for another person or a business firm for pay. True, but in today’s economy, an employee is more like your brand ambassador. He or she may know more than you (Marketing Director or Owner) about your customer. Ask them questions about what customers think about your brand and nine times out of ten you’ll get ten different answers. Your employees are the people who are typically face to face with the customer every day. If they are not accurately communicating the brand values, then your brand is not working to its full potential.
4. Your brand is not your product
Myth. Your brand is your product! People buy what your brand offers them not what you sell them. Take Apple for example; they sell computers, but what they really sell is ideas and the ability to create and think differently. See this video by Simon Sinek for a further understanding.
5. The process is over at rollout
Myth. We have seen so many companies develop brands, throw a big roll out party for their employees, give them a t-shirt and a mouse pad with a new mission statement and within a month, nothing from a cultural standpoint has changed and customer satisfaction surveys remain stagnant. Why? Because the brand development process doesn’t end at rollout, it begins! Companies must shift their focus to the employer brand to begin drilling into the culture through their recruitment and talent management practices. Every new employee hired, must be what the brand personifies otherwise your brand development process is nothing more than a creative exercise — it must be implemented properly or all that hard work I mentioned above will be nothing in 6 months.
Companies and startups need to invest in brand development to help them understand who they are, how they can better the marketplace and how they are going to attract the talent necessary to grow and remain sustainable.
If you are looking for help in defining who you are, what makes you unique in a cluttered marketplace and how to build a foundation of sustainability, culture and best hiring practices for your brand. Contact us today!