People are more willing to buy branded goods provided they are persuaded that they are getting value from them. And they need to be convinced of those benefits, in authentic everyday language, without being confronted by corporate-speak. Get it right, and you create a virtuous circle. Get it wrong, and you get punished for it.
David Aaker states that “A company’s brand is the primary source of its competitive advantage and a valuable strategic asset. Yet, too often, the brand message to customers is weak, confused, irrelevant, or, worst of all, indistinguishable from competitor offerings. The challenge for all brands is that they have a distinct, clear image that matters to customers and truly differentiates them from the rest.” Differentiate or Die!!!!! A company that does not differentiate its relevant product offering from the competition is relegated to the hard and dirty existence of the low price game; a game based on low margins and scale economies. Branding is a strategic process designed to differentiate a product or service on relevant functional attributes of the product/service, or on the emotional needs and desires of the consumer.
As a result of a strengthened brand, your company strengthens the connection it has to present and future customers; a strong brand allows a company to strengthen:
- customer loyalty
- pricing power (greater margins)
- licensing opportunities
- brand extension opportunities
- trade cooperation and support
- its defense against competitive marketing actions
- consumer’s ability to make faster and less risky product choices
Brand development begins with identifying and defining the core values of the brand; those values that resonate, inspire, and attract consumers. The core values are what a brand stands for; the brand identity! A brand’s core values are what marketers use to “position” the brand in the minds of consumers. With the core values in hand, a brand promise is then written. A brand promise very clearly communicates the value that an organization “promises” to deliver; value that is relevant to the customer’s life, and value that is distinctively different from value that is offered by competitors.
Once the brand identity has been developed, all internal and external marketing communication needs to be referenced against the brands core values; one voice! Any type of marketing communications such as logos, business cards, advertising, packaging, website design, brochures etc. cannot be developed until and unless they are developed with the core values in mind.
NEXus marketing professionals have developed, managed, and protected the brands of companies large and small. We can help guide you in the development and management of a strong brand; a brand that will strengthen your connection to your marketplace.