Powering Up People & Brands

Is your marketing building your brand?

clear strategy alignment and leadership

Effective brand building starts with aligning
all activities & people behind the brand

Recently at a meeting in Melbourne, my usual networking “elevator speech” sparked a heated debate on how small and medium businesses think of marketing.

What do SMEs see as branding and as marketing? What do they need, why should they care about building their brand?

For some people, branding just means putting a nice logo on everything, getting a new packaging design, choosing colours… Such activities cause many emotional debates within organisations! It is usually a good indicator that “something is missing”.

Is something missing in your marketing?

If you are not working to a clear brand strategy focused on your ideal customers,
– How do you go beyond “personal preferences” and agree on a solution?
– How do you know that it is really necessary to change that logo or design or ad?
– Do you have the insights that would give you confidence that you are choosing the right logo, pack design, colours?
– How will you make them actively work for you?

You may really need that new logo or packaging design to get noticed and remembered by your market. They will not be enough to deliver more profitable sales, to get your market to choose you, love you, prefer and recommend your product or service. It is the total brand experience that can achieve that level of engagement with your market.

Some SME business owners feel such pressure to get more sales that they are only interested in this week’s selling activities. They think reluctantly about the next ad or the next brochure or their website, often more about their cost than about strategy. These end up often lacking focus and missing the keys to impact. Later the same business owners wonder why sales are not higher, questioning what works in their marketing, how they could know what to do next….

Brand building? What is in it for you?

A narrow definition of branding and of marketing prevents many organisations from making a smart marketing investment. It makes it hard for them to identify and focus on what matters to their market and therefore to their business; it reduces their ability to recognise what has the best chance to work cost effectively; it defocuses their people and it stops them from getting easier results and sustainable growth.

Other SME business owners give branding a bigger richer meaning.
If you are like them,
– you recognise the importance of insights in your ideal market and in your potential;
– that clarity enables you to set a customer focused strategy and keep in focus;
– you feel the power of uniting your people behind your brand, linking all marketing activities to the strategy;
– you seek to relentlessly drive impact, build your brand to be increasingly noticed, remembered, chosen, preferred and recommended by your market.

For them and you, marketing is an informed investment rather than a cost; decisions on the overall marketing plan and on each marketing activity are logical; customers’ experience is positive, the “wow” factor making yor brand increasingly memorable and respected.

Their WIIFM and yours? You, like them, know that this brand building perspective is behind a sustainable sales momentum and a cost effective growth.

Building brands builds business value

“Doing marketing” and “building brands” bring vastly different results! You, like me, can see the amazing value of iconic brands who have created clear expectations amongst their target market and trust and deep loyalty amongst their customers.

One brand comes to mind instantly in our high tech world. Do I need to mention more than the name Apple to convey the message that building a brand builds value ?

Who does not know Apple, who does not expect Apple to innovate, launch “interesting” products meeting our lifestyles and work styles and address our needs even before we have identified them as “wants”?

Is anyone else as trusted and expected to deliver so much across so many products? You did not need to have an Apple computer to consider with interest, admire or desire… an iPod, iPhone or iPad.

The brand today leaves no one indifferent, it is charged with emotions, beliefs, expectations, desires… that open the opportunity of exciting tomorrows. So, how valuable is the Apple brand? What would it be worth if it was for sale?

Imagine how you would feel if your brand had that kind of power!

Achieving brand power – a focused journey

Of course, this kind of power feels like “dream stuff” for start-ups, small and medium businesses. But all “big brands” started small in the shed, the garage, or the kitchen… Over time they single-mindedly built their identity, communicated clearly their purpose, delivered time and time again a brand experience that matched their promise and kept being true to its purpose throughout its growth.

Successful brands did not just do disjointed marketing activities, they developed insights into their markets, set up a roadmap, connected everything they did, stayed focused on the strategy; their products and services delivered consistently, their people delivered a consistent brand experience, they brought the brand to life!

Your brand is too important to put it at risk!

If your insights are vague, your focus “wobbly”, your people not united,
if it feels like your competitors are more effective than you,
if you wonder what to do next,
it is time to seek help from a brand building specialist!
Together you will identify insights, keep your people and activities in focus and unleash in-market impact.
Contact us for an obligation free chat. We may be able to make it easier for you to connect with your brand and your market, to enjoy results and sleep at night!

What did you think of this article?

*