Little by little, company leaders are realizing that their Brand is among the company’s most valuable assets. But not so long ago, this was a novel idea.
Industry experts behind Building a Brand-Driven Business found that “...two thirds of senior executives stated that the single greatest threat of the future health of their Brand was senior management's lack of understanding of what their Brand stood for.”
That was 1995, and company priorities have since shifted in favor of Brand Development. So, why focus valuable resources on something so abstract (like your Brand), when you could use those same resources to tangibly boost profits right now? Here are 8 benefits illustrating why Brand building makes strategic sense:
1. Earn customer loyalty: You might have heard the famous statistic by Bain & Company that it costs 6 to 7 times more to acquire a new customer than to retain an existing one. We would add that loyal customers are likely to provide a highly effective, free marketing service to you: referrals. What fosters loyalty? A consistently communicated Brand promise backed up by Evidence of Performance.
2. Become a market leader: The iPhone has maintained its position as the leader of smartphones, not necessarily because it's the superior product (though loyal fans will passionately contend that it is!), but because of a well-planned, well-executed Brand message that resonates with followers: “Challenge the status quo.”
3. Stand above the competition: In other words, make the differences between you and your competitors crystal clear. It's not about being the best at everything – you don’t need to make gimmicky, unrealistic claims (World's Best Cup of Coffee, anyone?). Instead, clarify the specific needs you excel at meeting. If you're a grocery store, do you carry an unparalleled seafood selection? If you're a healthcare facility, do you offer 24-hour Telenurse services to all patients?
4. Focus on delivering value: An interesting thing happens when you prioritize your Brand; suddenly, marketing is focused more on your unique value proposition, and less on trying to convince consumers that they need you. Your Brand must promise and deliver something of value, so Brand-oriented companies maintain that focus out of necessity – and customers appreciate it.
5. Build a stronger, more unified team: Not only should everything that comes out of your company be scrutinized under your Brand Lens, but what comes in as well. That means employees are hired for their fit with your Brand culture as much as for their credentials. Put simply, you hire people who believe what you believe. As a bonus, having a visibly strong Brand makes recruiting high-quality talent much easier.
6. Set guardrails: Any decision made within a company, whether it's the CEO deciding company policies or the Art Director deciding how to design an ad, is made simpler when everyone is playing by the same rules. The Brand Lens gets everyone on the same page and keeps all aspects of the company moving smoothly in the same direction.
7. Protect against economic change and price undercutting: With a weak Brand, all you have to compete on is price – something you might not have much flexibility with, especially in a poor economy. Companies with stronger Brands are less affected by economic change (or competitors waging price wars) because they focus consumers on the value a product or service provides. And value doesn't change with the stock market.
8. Price what you're worth: On the same token, a Brand-driven business can afford to charge premium prices if its strategy adequately conveys the value of this higher-priced product or service. “Sure, it costs more, but it's worth it! I want it!” “I have no problem paying $800 for a cell phone; it’s an iPhone!” You've used this logic many times in purchase decisions – at times, without even realizing it. Now, use it to your advantage by investing in your Brand.
If you're ready to make your Brand a priority, email Jim Flynn at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 309-673-8191 to get your Brand Development started.