People have so many choices, and often have too little time to decide. The brands they choose are the ones they connect with most. Consumers of all types want more than just product or service features.
It’s often said that bigger businesses have the luxury of spending money on their brand identity, while smaller and more agile firms simply get on with delivering the job.
Many business owners and managers appreciate that their brand plays a vital part in the success of their enterprise. A surprisingly high number rarely give much thought to why this is the case.
Important linkages exist between successful business outcomes and clear, consistent communication – both internally and externally. Successful organisations have a simple set of brand values at the heart of their business. This gives staff, customers, potential customers and other stakeholders a unified and unambiguous mental picture of what the firm stands for and what makes it tick.
Customers connect emotionally
It’s widely understood that a business’s identity is not just a logo or how the company is perceived externally.
However, it can sometimes be easy to overlook the fact that customers don’t merely ‘buy’ what successful organisations do. Instead, customers connect emotionally – identifying themselves with the reasons why their favourite brand does what it does. It’s the way that successful businesses behave that sets them apart from the competition. This is as relevant to your business as it is to sportswear, a retail chain, or an airline.
We recently helped a well-known company based in the Forth Valley area to undergo a comprehensive rebrand. The business had been very successful, and its customers valued the products and services that it provided. However, over time, the context in which the organisation operated changed significantly. As social and technological change gathered pace, the situation was becoming critical.
Working with all parts of the organisation, we helped the business to transform itself, empowering and reinvigorating staff within their new business environment. The company was re-launched with a coherent new visual identity applied across stationery, signage and brochures, underpinned by a new, much clearer understanding by all stakeholders of the core message and core values of the business. These values were applied both online via a new optimised website and social media, and in more traditional communication channels.
The company has gone from strength to strength with significantly improved customer experience, more motivated staff and a growing demand for its products and services.
Being a successful business increasingly means having to find new ways of standing out from the crowd. Often the hardest thing is taking the first step:
Simplify your message
What do you do that separates you from the competition?
Project personality in your business
Brand personality and authenticity are your greatest differentiators.
Building consistency develops brand recognition and promotes trust.
Keep your business looking fresh
First impressions are everything. Just a few simple changes is all it may take to ensure you remain on message with your audience.
Having a professionally designed website that responds across all platforms is now essential to reach your customers at a personal level.
Contrary to popular belief, a rebranding project such as this doesn’t need to cost shedloads of money. But it takes passion, time and critical thought on the part of everyone involved. Not every business needs to think about embarking on a radical overhaul. Often all that is required is to simply and cost effectively freshen up the way that the organisation thinks about itself – and the way its target audience perceives it. This applies both visually and in the way that the business thinks and acts.
We regularly come across examples where the actual cost to a business of taking short cuts or opting for a ‘cheap’ quick fix for their brand identity, social media communications or online presence very significantly outweighs the cost doing things properly in the first place. It pays dividends to take professional advice and to consider your options carefully. In the eyes of your customers, your brand identity and your reputation usually turn out to be one and the same thing.
As the demands on all of our time and the profusion of online and off-line information increases, the risk to businesses of ‘just missing the target’ with marketing and communications (and therefore missing it by miles) have rarely been greater. Customers and consumers of all types increasingly demand personal, targeted, tangible and authentic communication that they can immediately engage with and remember.
Asking yourself why your business does what it does, can produce thought provoking answers. Give it a try. The results could provide you with a new voice for your organisation.