What Is Branding? How To Develop And Implement An Effective Brand Strategy In 2020
It’s undeniable – a strong brand can have a profound effect on any business.
And that doesn’t just apply to the cola giants, it applies for all businesses.
Just consider the power of branding.
When Pepsi and Coca-Cola mix blind taste tests, consumers consistently prefer Pepsi-Cola over Coca-Cola…until branded packaging is revealed.
In this case, suddenly consumers prefer Coca-Cola!
The powerful influence that brands can have is clear.
They can shape customer perceptions, motivate employees and even guide the decision making in companies.
But what constitutes an effective brand strategy? What steps do businesses need to take in order to craft and implement a successful brand plan fit for 2020? Whether you’re an owner or marketer of a business, Disruptive Branding by Alan Hiscocks provides actionable insights on how to define and execute an effective strategy with real world examples from some unlikely places such as NASA janitors which teaches us lessons on employee engagement!
Don’t overlook the importance of branding at your peril – it’s more than just logos and colors but rather reflects the core values of your company that speaks volumes when it comes to customers’ interactions with your product or services.
Brands Need To Understand The Disruptive Forces Changing The World
Globalization and localization, changing consumer habits and the merging of the digital and physical world are major disruptive forces occurring today.
If brands want to stay relevant and successful in this ever-changing landscape, they must understand how these forces can affect them – both positively and negatively.
For example, a brand must not only understand the local needs of their customers around the world but also be aware of their customer’s potential dissatisfaction with change.
In 2010 GAP learned this lesson when their customers expressed outrage over a logo update – forcing GAP to revert back to their classic design.
The traditional phenomenon of window shopping has been digitized as well; research shows that people’s interactions online influence up to 56% of spending in physical shops.
In other words, brands need to be able bridge their critical physical stores with robust virtual practices connected to social media outlets.
Creating A Robust Brand Strategy Is Essential For Business Survival In The Age Of Disruption
Wise managerial decisions are based off of a strong brand strategy.
A well-formed blueprint provides an essential structure for any business to thrive in the era of disruption.
Having this plan gives firm direction and ambition, as it allows you to set lofty goals for yourself and your team.
Take Amazon for example.
They have created a strategy that illuminates their purpose in the world: creating a space where people can find whatever they need at any given time.
This followed ambition has enabled their immense growth in various industries, from groceries to television, using innovative tactics like same-day delivery or AI personal assistants.
With such a clear brand strategy, there is no doubt what path they are headed down as they move forward into the future.
On the other hand, many start-ups don’t take the time to truly flesh out their brand strategies, fxperiencing issues when information conflicts with realityu0003 They get caught up merely focusing on what their product does instead of looking at how and why it should be done.
Uber was one company that faced difficulty after facing scenarios like issues with culture and ethical concerns surrounding Trump’s Muslim ban; it became difficult to respond properly because there wasnota conversation about values and responsibility beforehand.
Without having a clear idea of what your business represents, achieving success against disruptive forces becomes much more challenging._
Creating A Meaningful Brand Strategy Requires Commitment To Living Up To It
Creating and maintaining a successful brand is no easy feat.
Companies need to carefully consider and define their brand idea in order to ensure their branding efforts deliver results.
From Benefit Cosmetics, who have maintained their humorous ‘laughter is the best cosmetic’ motto for decades, to Barclays, whose ‘achieve your ambitions – the right way’ mission was recently brought into question over a whistleblowing scandal – it’s essential that companies commit to living up to their stated brand idea.
This process can be broken down into four steps: take feedback, listen to customers, think on insights and refine/test your idea.
Once you’ve crafted your story, it’s important that you adhere to it.
This means promoting it internally and externally so that customers trust your company and feel valued by it.
Problems arise when those at the helm fail to embody what the brand stands for – something that could have been avoided had they remained true to their initial intentions.
In sum: defining a clear brand idea is key in successfully creating an identity for any organisation; but equally as important is staying committed to this message from top-to-bottom.
It Is Clear That Engaging Employees In The Company’S Brand Strategy Will Benefit The Organization
Engaging your current and future employees with your brand strategy is essential for driving successful results.
By ensuring that they understand and believe in the mission of your organization, they can become invested in its success.
With a clear brand strategy in place, you can encourage employees to act in ways that drive meaningful progress toward achieving your overarching goals.
For instance, developing an employer value proposition (EVP) is a great way to attract qualified applicants and demonstrate what makes working for your organization so unique.
A strong EVP will not only paint a vivid picture about why people should come to work for you, but it will also help ensure that those who do join your team come at least partially pre-aligned with your corporate culture and values.
Additionally, creating an employee journey—a roadmap that outlines how each member of staff move through their time at the company—can also make a positive impact on engagement levels.
Here, small details like providing an enjoyable onboarding experience or recognizing milestone moments like promotions and anniversaries have the potential to make them feel appreciated by the business.
Doing these things right could even save money on recruiting costs since research has shown that companies with poor reputations must pay as much as 10 percent more per employee than those with better looks among potential hires.
A Consistent And Authentic Brand Experience Is Crucial To Success
Creating a consistent and authentic brand experience is integral to business success.
Branding sets expectations for the customer, so it’s important that those expectations are met.
This is true whether you are operating in the luxury or budget space – customers should still get what they expect when they interact with your brand or services.
A great example of this is the Ritz-Carlton hotel chain, which believes that its employees are ladies and gentlemen serving ladies and gentlemen.
To ensure a consistent brand experience, it has implemented three simple behaviors for its staff: greet guests warmly; use the guest’s name; and offer a fond farewell also using their name.
Another good example of delivering a consistent brand experience on a low-end budget model would be Ryanair.
They consistently provide basic service to their customers, but it is expected from them given their positioning in the market.
And this has resulted in them becoming one of the most flown-on airlines in Europe!
Therefore, when considering how to deliver an authentic and consistent brand experience to your customers – no matter where on the spectrum you sit – think about your touchpoints: social media channels, websites, uniforms, packaging etc..
Put yourself into your customer’s shoes and consider how you want them to feel when interacting with your product or service – that special something that will make them come back again and again!
Exceptional Customer Service Should Be At The Heart Of Brand Building
When it comes to successfully branding your company and winning over loyal customers, exceptional customer service is key!
That’s because when customers have higher expectations than ever before, they are actively looking for brands that provide excellent service.
A great example of this is the energy supply company Bulb in the UK – they set up their business to challenge the inefficient and not very customer-friendly incumbents in the industry.
Their focus on providing exceptional customer service has resulted in 95% of their customers ranking them as “great”.
The Four Seasons Hotel Group also recognizes how important customer service is, with their implementation of a” Golden Rule.” This rule encourages employees to treat people the way they would want to be treated themselves.
As a result, The Four Seasons hit the Fortune 100 Best Companies to Work For list for 21 years in a row!
It’s clear that investing time and care into customer service is a surefire way to build great brands.
This can often require some hard work behind the scenes – but it pays off big time in terms of brand loyalty.
The takeaway from Disruptive Branding is that in an era of disruptive change and competition, having an authentic brand is essential for success.
By setting up a combination of qualitative and quantitative measures to measure your brand’s impact, you can accurately gauge the strength of your brand and use the insights to make decisions and drive customer loyalty.
This book provides actionable advice on how to do just that, making it a must-read for anyone looking to strengthen their brand and build a business that stands out from the rest.