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Is It Time For A Brand Change?


Originally posted in Kochie’s Business Builders – October 21, 2015

Prospects make 60 per cent of the buying decision without even engaging with anyone at your company.

Today, your most important sales employee is your branding. This is because prospects make 60 per cent of the buying decision without even engaging with anyone at your company.

This means they are making critical judgements purely based on what they see, which is your branding and marketing. So it’s time to start thinking about branding in this context.

When you reread these points with your branding in mind, thinking about your website, business card, brochures, signage, social, advertising and anything else that’s in the market place with your branding and messaging on it, would you fire your brand?

Does your brand:

Show up to potential client meetings dressed poorly or inappropriately?

Consider how your brand and marketing collateral appears to your ideal buyer. Is it dressed to impress and meeting the expectations of your buyer for quality, price point and relevance? Or are there areas that you can stand to improve those critical first impressions?

Confuse or offend prospects with mixed messaging, or say things that are completely irrelevant?

With the potential for so many pieces of branded marketing collateral being in the marketplace, the one that makes that critical first impressions element could be any of them.

Do you have a comprehensive brand style guide to govern your brand’s usage in every situation? When you control everything from your logo and lockup, to messaging and tone of voice, ensure that there is one compelling and consistent brand message.

Make your prospects think you provide a product or service that’s completely different to what you do?

In many cases a brand is created at the early stages of a business. Then time passes and many things happen. The business evolves, the market changes, technology changes, and the brand stays the same. This creates a misalignment between the brand and the market.

It creates misconceptions about what a business does. For this reason it is a critical to regularly analyse perceptions from your market and realign your brand and messaging when required.

Give the impression that you are cheap or have an inferior quality offering?

Has your brand been designed to meet the perception of quality of offering you are selling? I like to use the metaphor of a car for this. If your brand was a car brand would it currently be a Ferrari, an Audi, a Holden, or a Hyundai?

Each brand has a perception of price and quality, which while subjective, if you are a Hyundai trying to command the price of an Audi, there is a clear disconnect.

Make such a poor impression that they drive your prospects to your competition?

In most cases the power in branding is in triggering an emotive and memorable impression with an ideal buyer. This kind of connection is what separates you from your competition, making you a want, not a commodity.

So would you fire your brand? Perhaps firing is perhaps a little harsh. Like with a promising staff member you can create and implement a development plan.

With your brand that development plan would be a brand refresh, or a rebrand, to realign all your marketing collateral for consistent and highly relevant messaging.

Great branding should make the ideal, relevant and memorable impression on your customers at each and every client touch point. You cannot always control what will be the first brand element your client comes into contact with for your brand, creating that hard to change first impression.

It is critical have every branded component just right and with a consistent, relevant brand message.

If your brand needs a refresh you are in good company. Great brands respond to the market and evolve to stay relevant.

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Humbling Words From Awesome People

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Branding is a familiar concept to comms & marketing professionals like myself. But it’s often a mystery to other staff, and for brand to be authentic, unique and indispensable they all need to be on board. This training helped me clarify branding to everyone in our organisation. Now they’re all part of the brand redevelopment crew, identifying and sharing stories that resonate with our values and purpose. Thanks, Luke, for launching our journey to uncover the brand that ‘comes from within’.
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