5th February 2015

Is your business brand-led?

Are successful businesses brand-led or are brand-led businesses more successful? We all know that there is some correlation between brand and commercial success but just how critical is the link and how does your business rank? Listen to what people inside your own business are saying to tell the difference.

In our experience, there are four different types of brand-led business:

Brand-shmand… it’s all fluff isn’t it?
These businesses just aren’t interested. They see any marketing as a cost and still believe brand is mostly about the logo. You probably belong in this group if you’ve ever heard any of the following:
“As a Board, we don’t spend much time discussing the long term strategy.”
“No, I don’t think we do have a business plan.”
“We don’t really believe in asking our customers what they think.”
“It’s hard trying to explain what we do as a business.”
“We don’t get many enquiries through the website so we’re not sure it’s that important.”
“Our receptionist looks after most of the day-to-day marketing.”

We know we need to get better at marketing, just not right now…
Marketing is understood to be important but the problem is setting priorities. These businesses don’t quite know where to start, don’t want to face up to the costs and/or don’t have the people or skills to dedicate to the work. Sound familiar?
“Susie is writing our marketing plan as she did a module on it at university a few years ago”
“We operate in a very competitive sector and we’re always judged on price.”
“We’re spending less than 1% of turnover on marketing.”
“Our competitors’ websites are generally much better than ours.”
“We find it hard to attract really good people.”

It’s happening, it’s not particularly strategic, but it’s happening!
This is where things get interesting. A budget has been agreed, the channels are setup and there’s lots of activity but the output can be a bit hit and miss. The challenge now is to focus on quality and results.
“Month-on-month the website stats are improving.”
“New business enquiries are at their highest level for years.”
“The latest campaign we did got great feedback from customers and staff.”
“The MD did his first webcast last week.”
“We’re hiring a Marketing Director next quarter.”

We’re seeing results! Our brand is strong and our marketing is engaging
Brand and marketing is a regular feature on the boardroom agenda and the results are visible to all. This business has achieved brand-led status.
“We have a clear vision and a well understood business strategy.”
“Everyone here understands what makes us special.”
“We aren’t the cheapest in the market, but our customers understand how we deliver added value.”
“Our CEO is making the keynote speech at a key conference next month.”
“We won our biggest ever contract last month and beat much bigger competitors.”

Anything sound familiar?

Where do you fit in our scale of brand ignorant to brand masters? Try our Brand Strength Test and find out.

Don’t fret if you’re sitting near the bottom, brand and marketing isn’t as complicated to get right as it sounds. If you don’t understand what we mean by brand, click here. Or if you’re overloaded and need to streamline your marketing effort to see value adding results, read this one.

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    Harriet Strzelecki

    Head of Client Services

    Harriet is the agency’s Head of Client Services and Studio Manager. She manages major client projects as well as a team of in-house designers.

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