From the recognizable mark or logo associated with a company to the elaborate sequence of actions that engender emotional and behavioral responses, brands are built from the inside out. Why bother with branding? Because your branding efforts reflect your thinking, values, and commitments to employees, consumers, investors, community members, strategic allies, and other stakeholders in your business enterprise.
Brands are built in many ways — on concepts, missions and beliefs; through taglines, messages, expertise and experiences; via advertising, markets and marketing strategies; through internal relationships with employees and external relationships with customers, the community and the media; and through products, reliability and consistency. We can help you build your brand.
Tips to Drive Your Brand Value
Differentiate and empower your brand stories. Decide what makes your company, products and/or services special. Study your competitive landscape and see where you fit. By learning what’s missing in the market — or in the communications of your competitors, you may uncover an opportunity that enables you to capture top-of-mind status in a particular market or category of interest to consumers. Remember that less can be more. Smaller niche markets may be more loyal and easier to connect with than massive markets that you can’t reach with your budget.
Refresh and retain valued relationships through loyalty marketing. People are basically social beings. Most like to be remembered. Think about what you can do to stay connected with your clients. Try sending out a professional printed newsletter or e-newsletter. Reach out on special occasions or try to predict your customers’ seasonal needs. Remind them that you are ready to fill their special needs in a way only you can do. Not every customer will be ready for you on the day you call. Demonstrate your concern for their issues by sending news clippings of interest or a link to a relevant article. It will increase the likelihood that your customer will think of you first when a need arises.
Reach goals through strategic marketing decisions, training and coaching support as needed. The most critical factors in reaching a goal are planning for it and committing to it. Start goal planning by assessing your business needs and align your marketing decisions accordingly. Ask questions about your greatest marketing opportunities. They may be development of a comprehensive Internet strategies, identification of new channel partners, or immersion in a niche market. Also think about what has held you back from reaching your goals. Are your beliefs — or those of your team members or customers — defining your directions? Are those beliefs true? How do you know? What action patterns in your company most impact your success at this point? What changes are needed to achieve greater success? Should you shift your branding strategy, people strategy, product strategy, placement strategy, and/or promotional strategy? Does your team need training or a coach to help your explore your options and enhance accountability? Breakthrough marketing performance happens when you align your mission, purpose, team, operations, and daily actions with the core values that communicate your brand essence.
Engage interest and evoke emotion through inspired copy-writing and design. Nothing captures consumer attention like copy and design that stimulates the senses of sight, hearing, taste, smell and sound. Use words, metaphors, and images that stimulate the senses through contrast, color, and aesthetics. Read Marketing Demystified (McGraw-Hill, 2010) for more information.
Foster understanding of brand messages internally and externally. Branding isn’t only about your product name and logo. Nor is it just about consumer response. Communication with employees, colleagues, clients, investors, prospects and other stakeholders must be consistent, clear, concise and frequent. Be consistent in your messaging across different audiences. Also remember that communication is a two-way process. By surveying and listening to your customers and employees, and observing their interests and activity in social forums, you will gain valuable insight to what your customers think and want and how that impacts your products, reputation and your own brand identity.
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Accelerate Your Brand
Ask about our proprietary brand acceleration program, which starts with brand assessment that propels a deep inside look at your company, products, services and representatives. Through our five-part introspective process, we help uncover the issues impacting and influencing your brand differentiators and results. Then, we help you create an integrated strategic plan and innovate for success.
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