Your brand is the overall experience felt by customers, their perception of you defines their reactions towards you, good or bad. The goal of branding is to manage and grow positive perception and in turn revenue. When a whole business knows and owns its brand architecture, it gives you the best chance to positively ROCK your brand from the inside and achieving written strategy. Branding is about CONSISTENCY, CONSISTENCY, CONSISTENCY. Every business has the same opportunity to grow their brand; it’s usually their communications budgets that vary. Let BRANDiT show you how simple it is to create, manage and audit your brand so you achieve a state of CONSISTENCY that your brand can grow upon.
- Brand architecture
- Brand auditing
- Brand driver
- Brand education
- Brand management
- Brand strategy
- Brand styleguides
- Brand & product positioning
- Customer segmentation
- Logo & identity design
- Market analysis
- Merger & acquisition re-brand
The impact of perception on a brand
Public perception of your brand is a major intangible element of branding. You might have the best product or service, but if there isn’t a positive public perception, it can cost you a lot to create positive sentiment. Whether it’s lost due to lack of development effort, an environmental issue (e.g.: BP and EXXON) or a CEO or Manager’s comments (e.g.: Barilla) the cost to gain positive perception is always far more expensive than spending time to understand your brand architecture (how you are structured and how you want to be seen) and set a strategy to create it through your daily business operations.
Many brands especially in the tech world have been created based on their “coolness” factor. For instance the whirlwind that was the Apple revolution is a perfect example of how perception can drive sales more than the actual value of the product. Apple’s early innovations and its ability to create a cult following of its products by early adopters has created a public perception that everyone has and wants an Apple product and more so, that they are the “cool” product to have. You never see an Apple product on sale……they don’t have too! Apple has created a brand that everyone wants to be part of. How many other companies in the world has everyone talking about their product launches, leaked information or seminars? Apple created value in the brand and not solely in the product.
As the below information shows, Samsung held the top sales position from 2011 and significantly increased its market share in 2012. And yet, the Apple phenomenon continues. The below graph on advertising spend shows that Samsung has been considerably outspending Apple for years. Although this increased spend has worked for Samsung and assisted them in promoting and positively positioning their product in the mind of consumers, it has still cost them a lot more. You have to wonder how much Apple competitors have had to spend to match Apple’s coolness factor. That’s the point of Branding, to develop within your staff and customers a values system that meets their aspirations and your own.
Source: Click images to link to web sources
Big brand facts
Coca Cola makes so many different beverages that if you drank one per day, it would take you over 9 years to try them all.
Brand auditing services
Auditing is a key element of brand management that is often overlooked. In nearly every other business function there is a regulated audit process, whereas branding is mostly self-managed.
BRANDiT’s creator has been auditing company styleguides and brands for nearly 10 years and strongly believes this is one of the simplest, most effective and insightful activities a company can undertake. Audits can be done as a desk study through to a comprehensive review of all styleguide elements and brand perceptions. No matter the company size or marketing budget, an audit can be an effective tool that all companies should embrace as a yearly task.
At BRANDiT we start every project with an audit of some description. The way to move forward is to understand and own the past.
Why do a brand audit?
A few facts to win you over:
It provides a starting point for strategy development.
The best way to move forward with a brand, marketing or communications strategy is to look back and audit where you are and what you have created. It’s at this point we can clearly set a strategy forward.
It’s a starting point to create a company “styleguide / brand book”.
As you grow it becomes vital that a company provides a clear set of brand guidelines to its workforce. Ranging in topics from daily use templates, signage, clothing, offices, communications material etc. Whether its 2 pages or 102 pages its vital to provide clear and concise guidelines so that your staff can become brand ambassador and represent your brand in line with your defined brand architecture and strategy.
It’s a checkup for your brand, see how effective your styleguide / brand book implementation has been.
A brand is developed on the backbone of consistency. Its goal is to ensure that every time a customer interacts with the business it walks away with a consistent and positive experience. The purpose of the styleguide is to provide staff with guidance so that each touchpoint they have with a customer they can ensure a consistent experience. The larger a company gets the harder it is to manage the consistency, and lack of consistency is the death of brand development. Every business should engage in a brand audit every 1-2 years to ensure consistency is achieved and to take corrective action if required.
It’s a time to assess marketing opportunities.
Are there ways to increase your ability to engage with customers and how could you capitalise on them?
Additional information capture include:
- Staff sentiment
A brand audit can put a spotlight on positive and negative internal issues facing the business. Its is often identifying these elements and acting on them that a business can capitalise on its investment.
- Moral improvement
A great brand is created from the inside. Staff who feel that you care about their opinion and want them to be part of your brand strategy will always be your best brand ambassadors.
- System and process reviews
Are your internal processes impacting your growth and revenue?