People tend to have natural strengths. Things that always come easier to them than others.
When I think back to high school and up until now, Marketing is the thing that I always excelled at. While others were good at athletics or excelled in academics or the arts, etc… I was always involved in some kind of marketing program…and I was always a force to be reckoned with.
I often ask myself why I was drawn to this profession. I think it’s because I’ve always been fascinated by perceptions vs reality (something I have a lot of experience with, naturally). With Marketing, whatever good or service you are providing, selling, managing, etc… you need people to understand what it is and then you need to back it up with action. If you do that enough times, you’ll create a reputation for it.
To me, that’s what creates a brand, whether it’s for an individual or a massive corporation. Say what you mean…and then do what you say… and repeat…over and over again.
Here are five additional reasons to take a fresh look at your brand
1: WHAT IF YOUR PERCEPTION ISN’T YOUR REALITY?
This is the most important and something we’re all guilty of. We see one or two things and we ignore everything else. Just because you have a nice idea of what your brand is doesn’t mean that is how your other stakeholders are viewing you. How can you sell or manage a business if you’re delusional? You can’t. Not to mention, it’s kind of embarrassing…
One of the company’s I worked for went through a period of acquisitions, but didn’t change the names of the companies they acquired. We were so proud of our increased marketshare and additional areas of expertise. One day, I was in a meeting with a supplier partner and we gave them our line card. The supplier had no idea who was a customer, a competitor or just another branch of the company. He likely walked away thinking we weren’t organized and it was just confusing. The company went through a branding exercise shortly thereafter…
2: … BECAUSE, WHEN IS THE LAST TIME YOU DID?
Time flies. Classic may work well when picking out a men’s suit, but it doesn’t for the majority of brands. If you look old and outdated, plan on a closer race with your competitors than you’d like. People and other companies appreciate a thoughtful, easy to understand brand proposition, along with a great design. Sometimes that alone is enough to make a sale…
3: DIGITAL MARKETING
Are you embarking on a new e-mail campaign? Are you bringing on a marketing automation platform? Looking to redo your website along with SEO? What’s the point if you don’t have the right brand? What a waste of time, energy and money…
4: II’S NOT JUST YOUR CUSTOMERS THAT ARE WATCHING YOU
Whether you are on your own or you’re with a more established company, people are watching you. Potential employees, people in your community and other consultants you may want to network with at some point. You want to impress them, too.
5: IT’S FUN
What? Am I just running out of tips? It’s fun…. come on!
For real, a branding initiative will bring your company together. All of the branding initiatives I’ve been involved in, we requested feedback from all sorts of employees and functions. We wanted as much feedback as possible. We got it, and people loved it. They felt part of something and invested in a company they spent the majority of their lives working for. They were proud to tell their customers, friends and family about it once it was revealed. Furthermore, aside from feedback from employees, you need all sorts of different personality types. Dreamers, realists, pragmatic doers, creatives, etc. Watching it all come together is a beautiful thing.