The brand. It’s one of those things everyone believes they understand but finds difficult to put into words.
“Of course I know what my brand is. Just don’t ask me to explain it.”
Things that are about individual perception are like that. Brands are personal, and they are everywhere: cars, universities, companies, hotels, musical groups, celebrities, restaurants, sports teams … The list is endless. Many brands bring out strong emotions, with some referred to as ‘polarizing brands.’ (Could be a good topic for a future chirp. We’re looking at you, Yankee fans.) This ‘I just know’ understanding of a brand is fine until building yours or establishing a new product in the marketplace has a critical role in your business success.
When brands are built and managed well, they seem unified and powerful. When they aren’t built and managed correctly, they disappear into the marketplace, languish, and will likely be overtaken by the competition. In business, anything managed well has been defined and measured, and that includes a brand.
When talking to clients about how they can build their business or establish a new product (brand) in the marketplace, we always have the topic of brand in the back – or maybe front – of our minds.
Here are several best practices to help you build a powerful brand.
Let’s start with how brand is defined at BlueByrd.
A brand is a promise – a promise of the experience a stakeholder will have when they engage the brand.
BlueByrd’s definition is a distillation of the many out there, and ours is specifically designed for B2B with key words.
“Of course we consistently build our brand. I just know that, too.”
For developing strategy and plans to introduce and build brands, we have found no better framework than one offered by Wally Olins, a British corporate identity and branding legend.
If you haven’t heard of this Brit, we encourage you to dive into the rabbit hole.
Among the many gems Wally provided over the years, one stands out for us from his book titled “Wally Olins: The Brand Handbook” in which a brand manifests itself through four brand vectors.
That center box can also be thought of as the brand promise. Setting that out clearly to center and ground your organization can be hard work but well worth it.
Consider the four vectors Wally proposes:
These four categories are great for framing how customers form brand perceptions, what you want those to be, and then moving on to developing business strategies, plans, and allocating budgets. Much of this makes its way into BlueByrd workshops.
For your latest key technology entering the market, you might take a look at your own plans and budgets against these four vectors. Any opportunities to improve things? If so, we’d love to hear from you. (Even if not.)
It’s no secret that organic reach has declined over the years. This has caused marketers all over the world to do everything in their power to raise their marketing budgets to cover the cost of paid efforts. However, growing a company’s social media presence organically isn’t unheard of, nor is it impossible to achieve. It just requires time and consistency.
We recently worked with a client that was undergoing a management change with a new CEO, COO, and CIO. The company had been incredibly successful, but the new CEO wanted to take the firm to even greater heights.
Everyone who’s been around the block a time or two in the business world has a good understanding of how consultants of any kind spend their days, right? They’re the ones who charge into companies with a metaphorical baseball bat, break strategies apart only to scatter the pieces, and care less about their bad reputation than Joan Jett. Or in the words of author Martin Kiln when writing about management consultants in particular, they “steal your watch and then tell you the time.” Ouch.
Tell us a little about yourself and your business.