The Big 3 is a David Reid Group blog series designed to give you insight into the big issues in branding, marketing and selling. We break each topic down into three straight-forward points, so you can get the picture and get on with your day.
The last Big 3 identified the three elements that must be united to ensure business success: branding, marketing and selling. Branding is our focus for the next Big 3 as we answer these important questions:
1. Why bother with branding?
Customers aren’t stupid! In particular, customers who: leave you, choose to do business with your competitors rather than you, think your price is too high, don’t come back. These customers are making particularly good decisions, based on what is going on in their minds. Perhaps surprisingly, new customers, loyal customers and customers recommending you to others are also making outstanding decisions – for exactly the same reason! A business’s success is heavily influenced by what goes on in its customers’ minds – this influences and determines every one of their decisions. Whether they buy, how much they pay, and whether or not they come back are all ultimately determined by the black-box that is their brains. This is why branding is so important.
2. What is branding then, really?
Branding is the tool businesses use to optimize their customers’ perceptions of them and the products and services they offer – to increase the likelihood that these customers will buy and the amount they are prepared to pay. A brand is the physical identity of an organization, product or service, and includes its logo, name, signage and packaging. And, just as importantly, it is the mental structure of staff or customers triggered by this physical brand identity. It’s what is “extra” and unique about a particular business, product or service – those things that make it stand out from all of its competitors.
3. OK, what happens if I get it wrong?
Get your brand wrong and you forfeit much of your organisation’s Bounty. The opposite of a successful brand is a generic one, and generic brands are purchased solely on lowest price. One or several of the following problems often arise:
- Customers buy, but not at the price you want.
- Potential customers choose someone else because they don’t see the value you offer.
- Not enough customers hear of you in the first place and when they do they just don’t get it.
- You have difficulty cross-selling or up-selling other products or services.
- Your good staff lose faith and eventually want to leave you.
- Existing customers stop buying from you.
- Quality referral sources stop referring others to you.
In attempting to address these problems, many businesses misdirect their efforts into a better ad, a new marketing angle, more sales training, a new product or a service enhancement, an internal cultural change program and so on. Such investments are misdirected if they fail to change the hearts and minds of the people who matter most – your target customers and your staff.
Your brand story is the solid foundation you need to guide your marketing and selling: DRG’s Bounty approach ensures you get it right. Next time we look deeper into the mysteries of marketing, the second of the Bounty Big 3.
Read Part 2 of the Big 3 series: DRG-Bounty Marketing.
David Reid Group specialises in marketing and branding in Perth.