..how much do your customers love you?
the Nike swoosh cost $250. Today the Nike brand is valued in the billions.”
The issue of brand is confusing. So often we hear the words, “Oh I’ve just had my website re-designed.” But brand is little to do with your logo, or your web design or any of the tangible things that most associate with a brand. Those things are important, but really, do you think today if you started a business with a big yellow ‘M’, millions would flock to buy your product? It’s unlikely isn’t it?
So, defining brand is important in the first instance. How do we define brand? Well, it is a difficult exercise, but we like the simple approach. We ask the simple question, How much do your customers love you?
Think about one of the most iconic and successful brands in the world today – Apple. Everyone loves Apple. They are cool, in fact remarkably they are still cool even after the departure of Steve Jobs, the Apple Founder. There are quite probably better phones around than an iPhone, and there are certainly cheaper ones around that function quite well. But you rarely if ever hear about customers queuing all night outside a Nokia store to buy their next phone upgrade. People love Apple so much, they overlook price or product, because of the brand, because it is such an iconic brand. Yes, the product needs to be outstanding, and yes there is an important price point beyond which people simply won’t pay. But on the whole, people buy Apple because of the brand.
The problem is that most companies don’t understand the importance of their brand, relative to their customers. Your company is unlikely to have the global reach that Apple does. We have some clients whose entire customer base is 250 companies worldwide. But they are the leading brand in their space, because their customers, their suppliers, the media, in fact most people in their niche simply love them. They consistently take the trouble to find out about their customers, and to keep their customers (incl prospective ones) happy. As a result, their brand is positioned at the very top of their tiny, specialist, business sector. It is the brand of choice.
You have to invest in understanding the importance of brand, and where you are in your marketplace.
Having a strong point of difference in the market is essential; to consistently be the brand of choice in your sector affords real growth potential.
Brands are dynamic business assets that can lose popularity over time. They need to be constantly reviewed to ensure they are always relevant to their audiences. If a brand disconnects with its audience and market, chances are it will cease to be the brand of choice. And that has a direct impact on sales. As your customers change, due to life stage, demographics or market conditions for example, so must your brand, to either keep your existing customer base or find new customers. Smart businesses do both, and grow their bottom lines as a consequence.
Our brand management program evaluates your business’s current brands and puts you on a pathway to ensure your brands stay relevant and top of mind with your customers, endorsed by your staff and generate measurable growth.
Benefits of a part time Marketing Director to your business
We have a lot of IP on the branding development process. All of our Marketing Directors have worked on big brands, and for most marketers, it is their favourite area to work. Even more so for those with an agency background.
But our discipline dictates that this may not be the ideal place to start. Brand work can be extensive, but it maybe that there are other areas in your business that need closer attention. So the real benefit to you is engaging somebody with the discipline to say “let’s not start there.” Certainly, our Marketing Directors are unlikely to come in and order a new website or logo, because that is usually unnecessary. Addressing the issue of how your staff speak to your customers, or how much product knowledge you have, may be far more critical to solving your brand problems than a logo redesign.
In the 1980’s, British Rail went out with one of the most expensive advertising campaigns in history, before they had addressed the core issues that affected their brand. As a result, most people so through the hypocrisy, and the entire campaign was a total flop.
When and if the brand needs addressing, we have the people and the process to work with you through that process. Let us give you a hint: addressing your brand almost always begins with knowing your customer.