Understanding how much of an impact branding can have on the overall value of a business is really important and it should be a topic of regular conversation in boardrooms up and down the country.
The challenge we find is that most people outside of the marketing arena view branding as the logo, a brochure, signage, a website (the visible touch-points) when in fact it is a much deeper, strategic process that needs proper attention. Time and time again I see SME’s (and some blue chips view branding as a function of marketing when in fact it’s the other way round. Both are important of course, but one cannot function without the other. It starts at the top and today we’re working more closely with business leaders and CBO’s to help define the overall vision of the business (aka brand) and this then forms the foundations for where our strategic process begins. In simple terms, a businesses needs to communicate what the long term vision of the company is internally so they can then build a culture to help deliver on this vision. There’s quite a bit more to it that that but hopefully you get the gist.
There’s many things that form part of a brand strategy that needs constant evaluation and consistent application through all the various touch-points a brand will be visible at. To put it plainly a brand is not what you think or say it is, it’s what others say it is so the real art of brand building is demonstrating to the various audiences why they should follow you and become part of your community. It takes time to build a strong brand following and building that trust. A marketing plan or tactical activity will always help with customer engagement and lead generation in the short term but it’s will never help build the brand value over the longer term unless it follows, and is aligned to the overall long term brand strategy. Throughout the past 7 years of running Frost Creative I have seen a noticeable shift in the scale of client that we are working with and the type of business that really value what branding is and what it means to do things right. That said, I still feel compelled to try and empower directors of SME’s to do branding the right way and not cut corners because in the longer term they’ll reap the rewards.
In brand-building, learning what matters to your internal and external audiences is far more important than marketing, here’s why…
- Business Strategy and Brand Strategy are like TWO STRANDS OF DNA—THEY’RE INTERTWINED AND CONNECTED
- Branding is strategic, while marketing is tactical
- Branding is an investment in the long-term success of a business, including customer loyalty, internal culture, and a strong brand community
- Marketing is focused on short-term results, such as quarterly revenues, advertising campaigns, and sales promotions, both activities are vital, but they require two different kinds of attention
- Branding should not be managed as a subset of marketing, EVER
- A tactical function should never control a strategic one
There is no brand success without strong business fundamentals and there can be no customer loyalty without a strong brand framework.
If you are interested in building a better business or brand but don’t know where to start, feel free to get in-touch.