THE 6 VITAL INGREDIENTS FOR BRAND-LED MARKETING - MARKETING FOR SME'S
Any business has its fate bound up in its brand – whether this is your company image, product or service. In business, a constantly tended marketing plan based on awareness of your company’s brand is an essential weapon in the armoury of success.
1) STAND OUT FROM THE CROWD
Link your brand to a singular and distinctive way of meeting customer needs.
If you are entering into a highly competitive market it is extremely unlikely you will be able to compete with the bigger players on price due to economies of scale. Therefore you must understand what it is you can do better than the existing competition and then relentlessly place this at the forefront of every marketing communication you put out.
It should not be assumed that you are entitled to customers. Customers must be told clearly and directly why they should abandon the familiarity and comfort of existing brands within your market and make the transition to yours.
2) HAVE A MEANINGFUL VISION FOR YOUR BUSINESS AND BRAND
All businesses require an inspirational mission statement. The company brand is no different. This should also have a written vision that is strong, clear, and closely tied to the specifics of your business development strategies.
Brands such as Apple were founded on values of creativity and ingenuity and are still closely associated with these values today. Customers are drawn to bold and clear visions, those who most closely associate with these values will become your most valuable assets are loyal customers and advocates for your brands.
If you clearly communicate why you created your business in the first place, customers will understand why they should invest in and support you. Give people something to believe in!
3) BUILD YOUR BRAND FROM THE INSIDE OUT
Consumer trust is what building a brand is all about. With this end in mind, everything you say and do should be geared towards strengthening this bond. Authenticity is growing ever more important as business becomes increasingly transparent. Trust is a valuable commodity and inauthentic communications can permanently damage a brands image.
Click here and read our blog post on how to build brand trust!
4) BUILD LEARNING INTO EVERYTHING YOU DO
Constantly evaluating your efforts, in effect becoming a ‘learning business’, will be imperative to long-term success. Use social listening tools such as Hootsuite and Tweetdeck to continually monitor your market, adapt to the needs of your customers and find demand where it exists.
You can also use free tools such as Survey Monkey to conduct surveys with your customers to evaluate how effectively you are meeting their needs.
5) MONITOR THE CHANGING ENVIRONMENT
In the world of business, new opportunities and threats spring up all the time. Once a quarter, it is advisable to analyse the changing consumer trends, competitor activity, legislation, economic trends and technological developments that might have an impact on your business.
6) DON'T BE AFRAID OF CHANGE
There is one additional element that will take your business even further: the ability to change. Look around for new ways of pursuing your vision and developing your brand. Take risks. Anticipate trends. Explore and experiment.
Consumer tastes are constantly changing. Marketing communications that brought in business a decade ago is extremely unlikely to bring in customers today. What works for your business and separates your success from your failure is permitted to change overnight.
Larger businesses such as Coca-Cola and Guinness understand this and continually make small changes to their brand identities and marketing practices every few years or so in order to stay ahead of customers' changing needs. Essentially, they will change before the market has time to get bored with them.
For a deeper understanding of why brands change, take a look at our blog post on the rebranding of Juventus football club!
THE MISSING LINK:
Brand-led marketing is essential for the long-term success of any business. In order to successfully execute brand-led marketing you must:
Stand out from the crowd
Have a Meaningful Vision for your Business and your Brand
Build Your Brand ‘From the Inside-Out’
Build Learning Into Everything You Do
Monitor the Changing Environment
Don’t Be Afraid Of Change
About the author: Vincent Bissette is a freelance Brand Strategy and Design Consultant with over 30 years experience of branding and rebranding businesses and organisations, systematically, thoroughly and objectively. He has worked in major Design Consultancies as well as having run his own agency for 25 years, working with SMEs all over the UK to help them modernise their brand, grow their business, attract new customers, penetrate new markets and increase their sales, market share and profit. Throughout that time, there’s not much he hasn't done or many industries he hasn't worked in. He’s a creative, strategic thinker and problem solver with a wealth of experience in diagnosing trouble spots in brands and discovering their strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats. Now based in South Lanarkshire, Scotland, he works throughout the entire UK.
Get in touch with him on Linkedin here