Brand-Explosion! Where Preference and Profits Converge

Updated: Jul 22, 2019

Brand identity has never been as crucial to company survival as it is in today's customer-centered new economy. As much as sixty percent of a company's market capitalization is tied up in its brand name. Yet, according to a recent survey of finance directors at leading firms in the United States and abroad, fewer than thirty percent of those surveyed believed that brands were their organization's most valuable asset after people.

Branding is one of the keystones to a good marketing strategy. There are so many benefits to building a brand. Strong brands can charge premium prices. Strong brands build company value. Strong brands are more profitable (An EquiTrend study showed that businesses with gains in brand equity see gains in ROI, while those with losses in brand equity see losses in ROI). Strong brands build customer loyalty and therefore reduce cost of sales (It's less expensive, and more effective, to sell to current customers than new prospects).

Perhaps more importantly in the short run, strong brands command customer preference in buying decisions. Take Coca Cola for example. In brand taste tests vs. blind test tastes with Pepsi Cola, research has shown that when customers know which brand they are tasting in advance of actually tasting it, it increases their preference dramatically. Sure, you may not be Coca Cola (in size or consumer focus), but the relevance remains the same--brand matters when customers buy.

When someone sees your brand, or your site, what do you want them to think?

What are they thinking now?

When someone talks about your brand, what do you want them to say?

What are they saying now?

When someone sees your ad, or your product, what do you want them to do?

What are they doing now?

The (hard) answers to these six questions are the reality of your brand, your reputation and your ability to make sales.

LESSON: With all the branding hoopla and information in the marketplace, you would think it difficult to make a statement or a claim that hasn't been said or done before. And you would be wrong.

If you're looking to brand, build a reputation AND make sales, you have to:

  1. Study your local market. Look for leaders, followers, flankers and guerillas. Study their tactics.

  2. Ask yourself, "What would it take to create an entirely new market segment?" (This is known as Blue Ocean Strategy.)

  3. Listen to the voice of your present customers. Conduct research, if necessary. Look at competition and their logos so you can avoid any similarities. Then ask yourself, "How can we make the competition irrelevant?"

  4. Build a customer-focused message or themelines. Consider emotions, not just features.

  5. Begin to create a graphical logo or other visual props.

  6. Consider symbols and metaphors (remember, Steve Jobs used a pirate flag to build confidence within his employee base).

  7. Create an emotional story about your brand.

  8. Ask yourself, "Is it truly unique? Is it relevant to the end-user? Will it frighten your competition?"

  9. Learn to create experiences that illustrate or symbolize your brand's most obvious claim. Choreograph this experience at trade shows and other events.

  10. Back it with quality, deeds and higher purpose.

  11. Create an atmosphere where people want - and are able to - BUY.

BRAND MOTIVATORS: Light the fire!

Get the branding iron hot. Burn your brand on the mind and wallet of your customer.

But be prepared to sell when they get there -- or be prepared to lose to someone who is.

It is astonishing that the majority of businesses, both large and small, have little or no consensus within their organization as to who they are and what they stand for.

Most experts would call it not understanding the essence of the brand…and they would be right.

Final points:

Go beyond a new logo.

Hire a professional who can extract helpful insight from customers.

Remember, buyers are not logical.

Place more emphasis on contemporary uniqueness. Gen Z is not looking for Boomer-type images and messages.

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