NEWS: New services launching today!
I’ve been listening to you over the past few months, gathering insights from many calls and emails, and I’ve been learning what’s really needed. As a result, we’re now re-launching our services to be more specific to those needs.
As we launch these services, I’ll be writing a corresponding article on each strategy or tool and why it’s so important.
First up it can only be the brand fundamentals.
Whenever I’m coaching early-stage startups, this is always the part where they’re struggling the most (or, worse, the part they’re ignoring), and the first thing we get to work on in order to set the business up for success. And it’s not just startups: established businesses can get distracted by fancy marketing antics and lose sight of the foundations on which those strategies are built.
Sowing the seeds: Establish the brand fundamentals that will ensure that your business is set up for success
It’s so easy to get caught up in designing Facebook ads and YouTube videos, trying to improve click-through rates and chasing media coverage, coming up with app ideas and fancy websites… The truth is that there’s a big step that we often rush through, or miss out completely: that step is defining your brand fundamentals.
You may think that it’s not that important to fiddle around with such formalities because you’re such a small team, you’re just starting out or, conversely, you’re already well established and you know what you’re doing. But not having these fundamentals in place can cause all sorts of headaches, making the simplest of decisions more complicated, causing unnecessary disagreements, and ultimately preventing you from building a coherent brand.
Your brand framework is really the basis for everything else that you do in your business.
It ensures that everyone in your team or organisation is working towards the same vision; it helps you to be consistent in your communication; in fact, it feeds into each and every decision you make in your day-to-day business. Getting this right can save you endless hours of disagreements, confusion, and inconsistent results further down the line.
So what does a brand framework look like?
A brand is essentially a promise to the customer. It communicates what you stand for, what customers can expect from your products and services, and how you’re different to your competitors. Your brand is what makes you more than just a commodity, it’s what creates loyalty among your customers and, if you’re really good, sometimes even love. Clearly, it’s a lot more than just a logo and some brand colours!
To start with, of course, you’ll need to understand who your customer is – this understanding is really at the heart of brand building.
At Procter & Gamble, we used to say that the “consumer is boss”, which meant understanding and delighting that consumer from the product shelf through to using that product. This idea was at the core of everything we did, to ensure that we were developing products and campaigns that were based on real customer needs and wants, rather than just designing things that we thought would work.
You’ll need to understand the positioning of your brand in the marketplace: what are the key variables for the category in which you’re operating, where are you on an equal footing with your competitors and where are you going to be different and ideally better?
You’ll need to choose the core equity elements that will really represent your brand in the eyes of your customers and will become associated with, or perhaps are already associated with, your brand. Playing around with these elements too much, making changes too often, will leave your customers confused, they won’t associate your advertising with your brand, they won’t find your product on shelf or online, and you risking losing all the benefits associated with building a distinctive brand.
What you’re trying to do is create a distinctive and cohesive brand experience for your customers over a period of time and across different touch points. In theory, this means that if you hide your brand name then your consumer can still identify the branding elements as being associated with your particular brand. This is the basis for brand awareness, engagement, and, ultimately, sales and loyalty to your brand.
Discover our new services to help you establish your brand fundamentals:
If you’re an early-stage startup with limited time, money and manpower, then the DIY coaching solution is for you. After all, you’re the expert on your business! You’ll be in the driver’s seat, with an expert there to help you navigate the roads.
If you have a larger team and want your key stakeholders to be involved in the process so that the brand framework is really anchored in the organisation, then the interactive workshop is the most effective solution. This can also be of value if you’re already an established business but are finding that you need to go back to basics to make sure you have a strong foundation in place. We’ll get together and share best practices, spend time on key exercises to draw out important insights, and pull it all together into a strong brand strategy that will serve as the basis for your business.
Finally of course there is a fully customised, ‘done-for-you’ solution that we can develop to be tailored specifically to your situation and objectives.