You’ve recognised the importance of branding and know you could do better. So where to start? With positioning.
Ask yourself some questions:
Where do you want to be in the market compared to where you are now?
How do you/could you differentiate yourself?
What is realistic?
Who is the competition and what are they doing better?
What are your value propositions? We find this question rarely gets the same answer twice within the company, and that’s revealing in itself. If staff are not clear what you stand for, what hope for your customers?
What response does your brand elicit from customers? (Contrary to popular belief, emotions are at the heart of B2B decision-making as well as B2C).
Having identified your own position and where you would like to be, you’ve made a start. To move towards that position, you need to understand your customers – really understand them. This means more than a chat with the purchasing director, and more questions to consider:
Where might new growth come from?
What do you know about these new growth areas?
Who makes/influences decisions?
How do they perceive you today?
How do you want that perception to change?
What story needs telling to achieve that change?
Does everyone internally have the right tools to “live the brand”, and if not, why not?
Very often these questions are not asked – they should be. The task can appear overwhelming or too time-consuming, but we have a tried and tested formula to guide you every step of the way, from determining your goals to researching customer perception and educating staff internally to ensure everyone is on board and remains so (see the Staying on Brand article for more on this).
One of the most important elements of brand creation is making sure you have a value proposition that is true and will resonate with customers, so don’t be tempted to jump straight to the shiny logo (which is not a brand by the way). Strategic brand development is about preparation before execution, asking the right questions to the right people. The more internal engagement early on, the greater the chance of success. Direction needs to be clear and consistent before you can move on.
In the words of Yogi Berra, ‘You’ve got to be very careful if you don’t know where you’re going, because you might not get there.’
Contact us to find out more about our step-by-step branding service.