How to Solve Business Problems with Brand – Part 1
Having a solid brand strategy is often resigned to being something ’nice to have’. It’s much easier to measure a return on investment with trackable marketing channels like PPC or social advertising than something as intangible as brand strategy. You put a certain amount of investment in, and you generate X many leads or £X revenue as a result. This is a tried and tested principle. It makes perfect sense if you’re a Marketing Director deciding where to put your budget.
But what if your business is facing bigger problems? Issues or barriers that upping your PPC spend won’t solve? These fundamental business problems will take more work to chip away at. This is when starting with your brand is the only way to go.
In part one of our series on how to solve business problems with brand, we’re discussing changing perceptions and behaviours. Have a browse through these common business problems and see if any of them sound familiar in your organisation:
1. My business has a perception issue
Sometimes your customer’s perception of your brand does not always align with your own, this is known as the ‘brand gap’. The perception of your brand influences everything. From the type of customer you have, to how much they will pay. If it’s a physical product, it also influences which retailers will stock it. All of these factors can have a massive impact on the success of your business. There are many signs that your business has a perception issue, perhaps sales are declining or your customer demographic doesn’t seem right. If this sounds familiar then it’s important to address it as soon as possible. The positive thing to bear in mind here is that if your business is suffering from this problem, it is possible to turn things around.
To begin to try and tackle the problem, the first thing you need to do is get to get a clear understanding of your current perception. Once you’ve got this, you can start to come up with a plan to shift this perception. This starts with setting a solid brand strategy. Use your consumer research to develop your brand identity, values and messaging to ensure they resonate with your desired audience. A strategic branding agency like BGN can help you to do this. We’ll use your insight to create concepts that move your brand on from where it is today. You can then put these in front of focus groups or review internally. This will ensure your brand hits the mark before you invest in promotion.
2. I want to change consumer behaviour
Perhaps you’ve come up with a product or service that is completely new to the market. It’s often the case that businesses like this are trying to enter traditional sectors. Industries where consumer habits are long-established, like banking for example. Businesses in these sectors have years and years of experience and heaps of brand equity with audiences. This means it’s going to be really difficult to change the way those consumers do things.
As revolutionary as your product or service may be, it’s unlikely to be persuasive enough on its own to get consumers to use it. This is also due to the fact that long-established businesses are likely to have big budgets devoted to making sure that they retain as much market share as possible. But all is not lost, there is a way to change consumer behaviour. You just need to get people to sit up and take notice of you. Products or services that are disruptive and seek to change behaviour need to look and feel disruptive too if they are to get those initial trailblazers to give them a try – which is where your brand comes in.
3. I need to improve employee morale
At BGN we’re big believers in the importance of your employer brand. If you’ve identified a problem with your internal culture or the morale of your employees, it’s likely to end up hurting your brand externally. It’s really important your staff are engaged and you work on resolving this problem before anything else.
People often think that branding or brand development only matters to the consumer-facing brand. In reality it all starts with how you live that brand internally. Forget about the visual aspects of your brand for a minute and start thinking about what it actually means for your business. Why do you exist? What do you stand for? What is your vision? If your employees don’t know the answer to these questions or they don’t believe in what you do and where you’re going, you’re never going to get the best out of them.
These are the questions we’d ask you first and foremost in one of our branding workshops, getting to the heart of what you understand your business to be, where your strengths and weaknesses lie, and what your vision for the future is. It’s crucial to understand whether your current brand strategy is aligned with these things, and if it’s not, establishing where you need to take it to make sure it does align.
4. My business is tired and needs reinvigorating
When you have a successful business that’s been trading well, taking a step back to think about your long term strategy isn’t always a priority. This can sometimes result in your business becoming stagnated, lacking in motivation to go to the next step.
Going through the process of reassessing your brand and what your business stands for as part of a rebrand or a brand evolution can really give you the clarity you need to solve this problem. Why not try involving your employees in strategy workshops and getting everyone’s opinion on what consumer need your business fills. This can often lead to finding new avenues to explore and maybe even new services your business can provide.
Interested IN LEARNING MORE?
As we’ve shown in part 1, brand can help to tackle some really challenging business problems. But first you need to get some clarification on what the major issue or barrier is in your business. Then you can start to think about how you’re going to use brand to overcome it and ultimately maximise the potential of your business. If you’d like to learn more about our process or talk to us about one of our free brand audits, get in touch with us here.