1. Be purposeful
Every brand needs a purpose. Consumers assume brands are in business to make money, of course, but they also expect a well-defined and clearly communicated brand purpose...
People do not generally talk about “designing a business,” yet that is exactly what you do when you align the business goals with the customer experience. Taking a conscious decision to make this alignment is the first step in designing your business.
When design is done right you can see the strategy behind it. Who is this for? What do they want? What does we say about us? Do we reflect our customers personal identities?
By creating more meaningful and unique identities - customers can see why you do what you do and see how you fit into their lives.
You benefit by being more easily recalled, understood for what you do - therefore creating a barrier to your competition.
So often I see so many brands in the same industry engaged in the perception battle. Take the Australian retail carpet sector for example. They are all engaged in creating noise that their product is cheaper, faster and of higher quality than the competition.
Yet, in the minds of customers they all offer pretty much the same thing, making it even more difficult for any particular one to stand out. It’s difficult to choose between them because their strategy is product centric not customer centric. Meaning, no particular company stands out as the one attempting to make a customers life easier.
No brand is cutting through the noise and positioning themselves as the only choice in the minds of consumers.
But, there’s a way to cut through.
By making a few changes often just to the Brand Identity and by alluding to the specific attributes of the brand, we can enhance the brand reputation so it becomes the clear and only choice in the minds of consumers.
We are in the art of good design and we start the process through our tailored Brand Workshops. They are a good start in getting to know your brand again and allowing you to pave the way forward.
One of the key benefits of branding and design is the ability to increase value perception and therefore price premium.
Choose you more often, delivering income through extra volume.
Pay more for the product, delivering income through charging higher prices, or
Be more resilient to discounting.
Customers are more likely to stick with a brand that they trust, or try it in the future indicating lower risk and likely future growth.
Good branding literally predisposes customers to choose you for what you do best.
I believe the worlds best design always has strong strategic thought behind it.
Good design clearly articulates the thinking behind it.
Good design encourages the customer to delve into a deeper level of meaning, separate to the product/service it is trying to promote.
It encourages the customer to ask questions such as:
A clever brand is now turning its attention away from the seat of control and is allowing its customers to now call the shots. A clever brand has now flipped the brand premise around and instead of focussing on its products that it produces, it is now asking itself the question: “How do I empower my customers?”, “ How can I them lead them to achieve their goals?”
It’s a very different way to look at branding, but once you get your head around it everything becomes easier and especially the understanding of how to make a profit.
There are some key ways in which investing in your brand can build even greater value. Use these points as a basis to evaluate the desired effect of your marketing activity. In addition to the tactical benefit your looking to evoke, align them to the greater benefits available to your brand.
1) Encourage more people to buy the brand
When customers are very familiar with your brand, you feel like a safe choice. There's a reason McDonald's is a safe food haven when travelling abroad. Part of their brand is the consistency that they have been able to deliver. Iconic and meaningful brands enjoy this benefit.
2) Encourage more people to buy the brand at a higher price
When choosing between two similar products, the trusted choice wins. People will happily pay more for a product that they feel can more likely guarantee the result. Past experience, or established trust, are the most powerful drivers of price premium.
3) Encourage them to keep buying from you
When you can offer new products of equal or better value to the ones that they are already happily choosing you for, you make it easy for customers to choose you before considering any other brand. This is a financial lever driving potential.
4) Encourage them to buy from you for new occasions or in new categories
Similarly, when you've established belief in your brand and associated products, people will feel that other products and services you offer will offer the same quality and value and they don't have to risk another brand's offer.
5) Do all of the above, yet more effectively
When you consciously focus on creating greater value for your customers, they will see you as their best and only choice. This doesn't necessarily involve greater financial outlay, just awareness of your choices.
I often give talks in the Marketing departments of organisations and I am always left baffled by how members of the same team often have a very different opinion about what makes their brand ‘Meaningfully Different’.
It makes me think how can a brand be well aligned and with a single minded standpoint in the market place if members of the same organisation understand the brand in entirely different ways! But, it happens. Staff come and go, brand guidelines are lost, the market changes and brands often transmute to meet those new market demands and it is in that transmutation that things often get murky.
This lack of brand clarity not only breeds internal inefficiencies but also makes for a very shaky foundation for which to build a brands promise. But, it is never too late to get back on track. We have helped create over $40m in brand equity from companies that were in the same position and decided to do something about it.
It is the same motivation that makes them buy from you that should be the engine behind what you do, what you say and how you make your customers feel.