Today, branding is thankfully a conversation that is happening at C-level daily, making it an important part of a board’s agenda. Why is that? The simple truth is that building strong brands drives growth and growth means that your brand impacts the bottom line.
Many studies have shown that brands can command price premiums Millward Brown, Interbrand and BrandZ are just a few branding consultancies that have conducted research on this issue. The studies, which are based on various products / services in different industries in different countries, prove that a brand can charge a premium.
Findings show that loyal customers are less price sensitive. A powerful brand therefore enables you to charge a premium, it generates demand, and it helps grow market share.
So how do you maximise your brand’s potential for growth?
Step One: Have clear brand objectives and set key performance indicators (KPI’s). A KPI for brand awareness, a KPI for brand recognition, a KPI for sales, profit margins, staff retention, and the list goes on. These objectives need to be at the centre of your strategy. All directors, departments and staff need to know what these are and how the business will go about achieving them.
Step Two: Know your purpose. Everyone in your business needs to be crystal clear on the purpose of your brand, the purpose of your business.
Step Three: Resonate with your customer. You need to deliver a brand experience that is meaningful and different. What needs are you addressing? Why do people want to engage with your company? My advice – create a strong emotional bond. It is hard to connect emotionally with lots of different audiences and stay true to your brand, but that is where the challenge lies.
Step Four: Amplify. You have to ensure that you use all the appropriate channels to augment your brand. A strong brand will enable you to extend your brand’s reach. Extend the brand to new categories and markets but don’t forget to add value for existing customers. They are already invested.
Step Five: Deliver. Deliver what you promised. Don’t and you will lose loyal customers and those customers you never had. What happens in Vegas does not stay in Vegas.
Step Six: Measure. This is my favourite part. Know the stats, know the numbers. Know what you are doing right and know what you are doing wrong. Bring those figures to meetings and make decisions based on these figures.
- Marketing and Finance need to be best friends.
- Make sure ‘Brand’ is a permanent fixture in your board meetings.
- Your brand is your business.
This month’s blog contributor is Gillian Horan, Managing Director and Chief Brand Strategist of branding agency, The Pudding. Gillian can be contacted via Twitter @GillianHoran and via her website at http://gillianhoran.com/
The views expressed in the posts and comments of this blog do not necessarily reflect the views of the Institute of Directors in Ireland. They should be understood as the personal opinions of the author. The content of this blog is for information purposes only and the Institute of Directors in Ireland is not responsible for the accuracy of any of the information supplied.