Published - 28 Sept 2023
Forest Industry, Industry & services, Healthcare Industry
Why are branding studies gaining traction?
After 35 years in the business, we’ve seen the impact a good brand can have, and how it can be used to enhance sustainability communication. No wonder more companies than ever are taking branding seriously. Project Manager David Weller explains.
Branding is increasingly important and hardly surprisingly, sustainability within branding is growing too. Project Manager David Weller: “In recent years, we’ve seen a gradual increase in requests for brand studies as companies seek to work through the complicated business of positioning themselves as leaders for the future, especially on sustainability.
“Having served the forest products industry for the last 35 years, we’ve seen the impact a good brand can have and the way it can be used to enhance sustainability communication. Forest industry companies are certainly taking branding more seriously than they used to, and with good reason: An effective brand can make all the difference for marketing and PR and become the basis for developing the brand portfolio. An increasing number of clients also appreciate that getting branding wrong can be very costly. It is often false economy to cut corners at the start and not do your homework first.”
Building credibility and trust is especially important when it comes to positioning on sustainability. Even in business-to-business communication, purchasing is influenced by emotion. A strong brand builds trust. Greenwashing, when claims are taken too far, labelling overused (see separate article) or over-ambitious promises made, can destroy reputation and that can take a long time to rebuild.
David explains: “Understanding the market, your position and that of others within it, as well as researching customer perceptions, can all contribute to a more successful outcome. Branding web-based surveys with key customers can reveal a lot about your position and image. But what about potential customers? Do they see you differently? Why aren’t they choosing you? Are you missing opportunities? These are questions not easily answered by a web survey. That’s why we recommend a hybrid approach of qualitative and quantitative research involving both web and in-depth phone interviews.”
Preparation is key: Get as much information as you can before you brief the branding agency – where you are now and why, where you want to be and how to get there.
Follow up: It’s not ‘job done’ when the agency hands over the new logo. Track how the brand is being received and performing, internally and externally, against competitors and in the eyes of the customer.
Stay on track: One year on (and for as long as you keep the brand thereafter), check everyone is clear what the brand stands for internally and that messaging is aligned. If your staff don’t believe or understand it, customers won’t either. Keep the brand alive.