Build your brand to build your business assets
Build your brand to build your business assets
Most businesses go to market with their product as the priority. Market leaders put their brand first and foremost.
When conversations turn to brand many business leaders say, ‘Yes, my brand could do with a refresh. We haven’t looked at the logo in a while.’
What they’re referring to is branding (activities that affect brand perceptions) rather than what I’m focusing on here, which is brand (the sum of perceptions about you, your business, your products and services).
Effective brand design creates an asset that attracts the market. A strong brand makes you more attractive because you now have an interesting brand story based around your business vision and purpose.
Clear brand strategy and product alignment
Clear brand design delivers the additional benefit of identifying core assets, which lift business valuation.
With clear brand strategy, you can approach the business, management team and board with increased focus and impact. It’s easier for everyone to understand the business direction and appreciate the full value in the business. This understanding, in turn, helps the board and management team make better decisions regarding funding and positioning.
At this point you can move into aligning your product(s) with the brand DNA and convert the market more easily. Instead of this ‘brand first, product second’ approach, most people dive straight into product and channel design. As a result of missing out on brand, they’re usually left wondering why they have to work so hard to convert the market.
And the brand process doesn’t take forever. Imagine taking a month out to design your brand fully. Once you understand the various aspects of brand, your product architecture will fall straight out. Then it's much easier to start converting the market and driving revenue.
Build client relationships much faster
The next step designs and connects your channels to activate engagement and speed up client relationship building. What that means in early-stage business for example, is building your community – the network that will drive sales for you.
Large organisations constantly commission expensive consumer research to see if a new product will sell. The Enterprise Businesses market today doesn’t need – and most can't afford – to spend that sort of money. With a community built according to your brand and market position there’s no real need.
Imagine opening your product up to your network using our TRI process (Test, Redesign and Iterate). Test with your community, redesign and iterate depending on feedback.
If you invite your community to a workshop and people don’t respond, it suggests they aren’t interested in your offer. If you get 100 people signing up immediately, you're on to something. It's a cheap, quick and easy way to open your channels and engage people.
Build your data asset
It's also cheap, quick and easy to build data, which in itself creates business value. The process of community engagement speeds up relationship building and data becomes a business asset that will attract partners.
With big data – or better still engaged, analysed data and a significant community following – large corporate partners, influencers and people in your industry will be drawn to work with you because your asset has value. When delivering your marketing campaign, it will unite the sales process and create sales volume.
Our approach to brand helped one client jump from a single retail shop selling 100 pairs of shoes to 150 retail stores in six months.
Understanding the commercials
The final step evaluates how well ROI has been delivered, which can be the missing ingredient. We never work without first defining ROI with a client, establishing the investment and confirming expected deliverables via key performance indicators. In addition, we always ask the client ‘What will success look like?’
Understanding the commercial side of brand design provides confidence to acquire funding because you know your numbers and deliverables. ‘If I spend in that area – because I understand my brand, audience, product and channels – it means I should make x times ROI,’ is a typical conclusion based on the confidence to invest.
What does brand deliver?
Without brand how does the business know where to jump? Without understanding brand, it's pure guesswork. Properly done, brand provides a blueprint document for the organisation to embed in its departments and teams, and use with external partners. Everyone gets the same clear message about brand DNA.
Brand is only a true asset if it enables you to build the product architecture. This architecture is essential to activate multiple channels and deliver awareness through sales and marketing campaigns, culture and solution selling.
Increased business value
The design of brand architecture and DNA creates a vision for valuation – just having a plan drives business value up. Activating the plan to prove the model, even through a first iteration, will increase business valuation even further.
That's the importance of brand.
Activation success depends on delivering campaigns internally and externally to weave both culture and brand together. Brand development helps the business through its Jump cycles – and as the business grows, the culture will grow with it.