UNDERSTAND THIS: YOUR BRAND IS NOT PART OF YOUR BUSINESS; IT IS YOUR BUSINESS.
By Jeff McLinden
Companies are changing the way they approach branding and brand management. Traditionally, the focus has been on image and communications. In today’s marketing environment, consumers receive brand impressions from a variety of sources both inside and outside the organization. When these sources are in alignment with communications, powerful and cost-efficient brand-building occurs. When alignment breaks down, the result is customer confusion and wasted resources.
Why Brand At All?
Let’s be clear first that a brand in-and-of-itself is not an asset; what is an asset is “brand loyalty.” This is the DNA of marketing. “Brand equity” is the financial value of brand loyalty. Creating, keeping, and rewarding customer loyalty is the means to true “brand profitability.” You obviously want to keep your stakeholders with you as long as possible simply because it costs typically five times as much to find new ones as it does to keep existing ones.
Building a “Power Brand”
YOU MUST CREATE AND MANAGE THE ESSENCE OF YOUR STAKEHOLDERS’ EXPERIENCE — THOSE INTERACTIONS AND FEELINGS THAT DEFINE THEIR SENSE OF “RELATIONSHIP.”
Today’s marketing environment demands that you create and manage the essence of your stakeholders’ experience — those interactions with and feelings that define their sense of what a “relationship” is with your business or organization.
We don’t like experiential restaurants where there are guys singing and wait staff dancing, etc. We like moody light and being able to concentrate on what we are eating. Many people who buy smaller motorcycles don’t do so because they can’t afford a Harley; they do so because the smaller motorcycles are lighter or quieter.
The definition of your brand needs to be much larger than simply the benefits and features. It is the entire “takeaway” and how it fits into a person’s frame of reference. You must do right by your customer or donor in order to create not simply “satisfaction” but rather “delight.” This implies more than whether your logo and materials design is contemporary, or what colors you choose for your stationery.
Whole concept branding recognizes that there is a linkage that develops between all aspects of your organization and the mind – and heart – of your prospects, customers or donors. Let us help you create your “power brand.”