Maybe you’ve just come out with some disruptive technology or game-changing gadget.
Or maybe your business has been around for a while and you’ve realized that to compete in today’s environment, you need to focus more on your reputation or brand.
Do you really need a brand strategy?
Your customers, clients, employees, partners already have some kind of feeling, thought or understanding of you or your product/service—negative or positive.
The truth is… a brand already exists, even if you’ve never taken the time to develop your brand.
Below are 9 surprising facts that you may not have considered in regards to your brand development strategy.
1. Make it easier for the customer to buy
Customers make decisions on products they know and trust. If a customer is not familiar with your brand, they are less likely to buy it.
Think of the last time you were in the grocery store and you had to pick up some pickles. Vlasic—the pickle category leader—was not on the shelf. Do you buy the “I’ve never heard of you” brand of pickles—or forgo the pickles altogether? Most likely, you’ll wait till the next grocery trip or go to another store. Brands help us make buying decisions.
2. Make it easier for the sales team to sell
Having a strong brand reputation in the marketplace will allow your sales team to close more sales based on brand performance alone. A reputation for service, quality and the ability to solve your customer’s problem will be more likely received and sought after.
3. Brand clarity and delivery spurs employee motivation
Brands give your employees purpose. Having a clear cultural direction, goal and mission based on your brand values will create higher performance and productivity.
4. Increase the value of your company over time
Brands are line items on today’s most valued companies. The Coca-Cola brand alone accounts for 51 percent of the stock market value of the Coca-Cola Company. (Source: Brandchannel)
5. Brand definition brings clarity to your business goals and direction
Having trouble getting along? The brand development process will get you and your key stakeholders on the same page that will align and foster greater cooperation.
6. The brand development exercise creates innovation
Most of us are so busy we sometimes just go through the motions in our businesses day after day with the mentality of “if it isn’t broke, don’t fix it attitude.” By purposefully sitting down and thinking about your brand and business you will give yourself and your team time to create new processes, products, services and other ideas that will drive innovation. This is time well spent.
7. Saves money on future design and advertising costs
Instead of reinventing the wheel every time that new ad needs to be placed or package redesigned, your brand standards will provide a guideline for consistency that creates visual recall and recognition.
8. A strong brand creates preference which, equals profit
By consistently delivering the same value, service and quality—along with the same visual identifiers—you begin to create preference and repeat customers. This is called “branding.” The goal of brand development is to create preference.
9. Attract talented employees
In today’s war for talent—companies are struggling to find talented and skilled workers. Those with strong employer brands coupled with a strong corporate brand will win.
10. Provides the foundation of you marketing efforts
Without a brand strategy, it will be very difficult to focus your inbound marketing efforts. The absence of your customer’s buyer personas, key messaging and brand-centric visuals will make any marketing effort less effective.
So, do you need a brand strategy?
Well, if any of the above points appeal to you—I would say yes—brand development can help. Even if competition is non-existent—you eventually will need to develop your brand, if not direct it in some way. We have in any given category 10-20 of everything (toothpaste, cars, shoes, dishwashing soap, law firms, construction companies, healthcare providers etc.) by having a well-defined brand, you will be able to compete at a higher level than your competition and build a valuable asset for the future.
Developing your brand starts with asking the right questions. Use this guide to draft the questions to ask your customers/clients to uncover your brand.
By Josh Claflin, Brand Development, Inbound Marketing & Creative Strategy
Josh helps brands in the outdoor, active lifestyle and health industries who are struggling to develop their brand; grow, stabilize or increase profits through their websites; increase revenue through online channels and enter the digital era of marketing.