Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Why Branding - GEC Business Review

by Jess Lee

Brand isn’t a project, it’s an ongoing process.

I believe a business’s brand is an ongoing evolution. It is the central to your overall business strategy. I'm not simply talking about how it applies visually, but how it applies to your company as a whole.

Today’s marketplace is ever-changing, so do consumer perceptions. Hence, managing your brand means evaluating the strengths of your brand, emphasizing the value of your brand with customers, and positioning your brand, if necessary, to reflect changes that occur in the marketplace.

Brand doesn’t happen only in the marketing department.

The process of establishing and developing unique and compelling brand equity focuses an entire company on inspiring your customers. Brochures are not enough.

Every contact you have with your customers is taken into account in their minds. What you say; how it is said; how you react; how you develop and maintain relationships; your physical presence; and how you handle billings and collections; the effectiveness of your customer service and support; the quality of your products and services; your business model … All of these are part of your brand, and they don’t all stem from only the marketing department.

That’s why a successful brand strategy requires more brand positioning. It is only through careful brand management that each individual can identify and champion their role in building your brand – which in turn, creating a competitive edge.

Brand management creates and sustains brand value for your customers and you.

Strong brand gives peace of mind. The brand value exchange:

To your customers: “I feel more confident when buying this brand. I’ll buy this before all others because I know it won’t let me down.”

To you: “The trust I’ve built up gives me a reliable income and a foundation from which to diversify my new products and services.” 

A strong brand saves time. The brand value exchange:

To your customers: “Buying the brand that I trust saves my time as I don’t need to consider others. I’m happy though to pay little extra.”  

“I get bigger share of my customers’ purchases as my customers experiment (purchase decision) less with the competition.” 

A strong brand gives consumers a “good news story”. The brand value exchange:

To your customers:  "It’s great! It’s worth telling my friends about this brand.”

To you:  “More and more of my business is generating through referrals.”

The brand value exchange with other stakeholders:

To other stakeholders: 
Employee: “Working on this brand is great for my career.”
Investor: “I have confidence this brand will deliver over the long period.”
Distributor: “Working with this brand will add to my reputation.”
Media: “My readers will want to hear the latest news from this brand.”

To you: 
“I get to choose from the best people, and they’ll stay longer.”
“I have a solid base of stable investor, and they’re confident with the business growth.”
“Opening up strategic partnerships (or franchise) is easier for me.”
“Getting the media coverage for my brand is not as hard as it used to be.”

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