Why do brands “work” for customers? Familiarity with making everyday choices reduces the risk of complicated buying decisions. Brands promise consistency, for example, McDonalds and KFC are prime examples — go anywhere in the world and customers know what to expect on the menu, value for money and fast convenient service.
Can your business system consistently deliver the experience that your brand promises?
Brand experience — Where will your brand experience take your customers?
Brand experience is the ’emotional’ journey a customer will take when coming into contact with your brand, products and company. All senses are measurable — whether the product is visually pleasing, customer interaction with staff, and even if the website is easy to navigate and information is easily accessible and understood. Every point of contact will either create a positive or negative experience.
The more a company is in touch with the desires and reactions of its customers, the more likely they will be able to engage and influence customers to take action, buy, recommend and think about the brand and product.
Brand experience is the result of strategy, training and consistently instilling a corporate culture into the staff from a management level, and the discipline of executing this at every possible interaction that a customer will have with your brand, products and company.
Brand Positioning — Where in the marketplace does your brand fit?
Brand Positioning is determining your target market by assessing customer needs and positioning the brand appropriately.
In volatile markets, it may even be necessary to reposition your brand. This may be the case for small and medium-sized firms that lack a strong brand or even for individual product lines. During times of financial hardship, business and marketing approaches that were effective during healthier times often become ineffective and becomes necessary to change a company’s positioning. For example, luxury products with higher profit margins may need to be replaced with more affordable middle-road product lines with less profit but achieve a higher volume of sales.
Repositioning a company involves more than a marketing challenge. It involves making hard decisions about how a market is shifting and how a firm’s competitors will react. Often these decisions must be made without the benefit of sufficient information, simply because the definition of “volatility” is that change becomes difficult or impossible to predict.
Brand Consistency — Is the brand applied uniformly across multiple mediums?
The key to a great brand is consistency. A consistent brand communicates company values and helps to deliver trust and confidence to the consumer.
Brand consistency is achieved through implementing a Style Guide which clearly details the use of the logo, colours and typeface, which becomes an integral part of company policy and manual.
An effective brand starts from building internal marketing through corporate stationery, then continues with external marketing — website, online brochures, printed brochures, signage, advertising and products.
Brand Equity — What’s the brand worth?
Brand equity is the outcome created through effective product marketing, advertising and promotion, resulting in consumer recognition.
Consumer knowledge about a brand will help determine different measures for marketing of the brand.
Aspects of brand equity include: brand loyalty, awareness, association and perception of quality. Your brand may be the most valuable asset your company owns.
Brand Leverage — The brand proceeds you.
Being associated with a well-recognised brand can make the sales process easier.
Brand Loyalty — Brand preference.
Once your brand is established, customers will already have considered conducting business with your company, so the door has already been opened, simply by marketing your brand.
Whilst we preach Brand Consistency, your brand may need a facelift over time to retain relevance with your customer-base and a constantly changing world. A brand refresh will bring new life to your brand whilst still holding onto its already established values and trust.
Typically, a brand refresh involves modernising the brand and only changing visual elements through typography, graphics and colour.
Photo Credit: (Flickr)