If you’re looking for long-term, sustainable growth, it’s time to look to your brand.

In a world obsessed with short-termism and quick wins, don’t overlook one of the most impactful resources you have at your disposal.

What is brand?

Brand is often misunderstood and therefore undervalued. First of all let’s agree what a brand isn’t…

  • Brand is not a logo
  • Brand is not a strapline
  • Brand is not an advertising campaign

So, what IS a brand?

In technical terms, your brand is ‘the set of expectations, memories, stories and relationships that, taken together, account for a consumer’s decision to choose one product or service over another.’

But in simple terms, it’s the entire experience your prospects and customers have with your company, product or service. It is the reason your customers choose you over your competition because of what you stand for and how you create value in their world’s.

Why are brands important?

Branding is crucial for your business because it helps you stand out from your competition and create differentiation and distinction away from aspects that can be commoditised – this means you compete less on price and more on values.

When done well your brand brings your competitive positioning to life and works to own a certain “something” in the mind of your prospects and customers.

Think about successful consumer brands like Disney, Nike or Apple. You probably know what each brand represents and what it stands for. Now imagine that you’re competing against one of these companies. If you want to capture significant market share, you will struggle on price or product alone – you need to build a strong brand that will help you stand out, be different and align to specific needs and wants of your audience.

A well-defined, focused brand will position your company for long term growth by:

  • Clearly defining its position in the market and the value it provides to new and existing customers
  • Creating a consistent message increasing brand awareness and customer trust
  • Helping align departments for better cross-function communication (Executive/Sales/Marketing/Product/Customer Service)
  • Establishing concrete guidelines for better decision making, budget planning, and time management
  • Identifying opportunities and prioritising initiatives, optimising time and financial investments

How are valuable brands built?

Creating a brand that has significant value starts with your brand strategy: how you come to shape your customer’s experience through both the verbal and visual identity.

Another way of looking at it is that your brand strategy is the visual and verbal articulation of your business strategy and how it comes to life. It defines why you exist, what you stand for, the promise you make, and the personality you convey – it is the emotional connection you make with your audience.

What value do brands have?

Investment in brand means investment in long term business success. Brands project power, they are a key differentiator in a world saturated with products and services and enable you to charge a price premium. Investment in a building strong brand will help you build your most valuable asset and a platform that will:

Why now?

It’s always the right time to invest in building your brand but now more so than ever.

According to the annual report by consulting firm Gartner, Chief Marketing Officers are, for the first time, prioritising brand strategy ahead of analytics, personalisation and marketing technology. 33% percent of CMOs now rank brand strategy as one of their top three priorities, up from “near the bottom of the list in 2019.”

So why the big shift in focus?

The coronavirus pandemic has led to a significant shift in how brands communicate with consumers. CMOs have therefore quickly reordered their priorities to focus on brand strategy for a number of reasons:

  • Many businesses have been forced to shift their business strategy and operational models and so a refocus of their brand strategy to reflect this is key to the success of the pivot
  • Businesses are expected to be more socially, culturally and ethically aware in the shifting environment and so are placing more emphasis on their values and responsibilities
  • As with all recessions we have seen an increase in disruption and start-ups which makes existing brands reassess their position in the market in order to protect their share of it from new entrants
  • Marketing budgets have been significantly reduced meaning a more focussed proposition and communication strategy is essential to ensure absolute clarity of messaging

    If you’re looking to build more value in your business, the starting point is your brand.
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