Sounds obvious doesn’t it? But you’d be surprised how many brand owners and their teams are unable to describe what their business does, why they do what they do and how they do what they do; succinctly, clearly and importantly in a way that people can easily connect and engage with.
That’s not because they don’t know, it’s because they know too much. Let’s explore that observation a little further…
Essentially it’s a question of objectivity and specifically the extent to which you can be objective and open to exploring in detail how your brand looks, feels and sounds. It’s also, I believe, about perceptivity i.e. understanding in detail how the people you want to do business with perceive your brand and what motivates them to respond positively.
Analysing your brand in this way isn’t easy if you live the business day in day out. The process you go through needs to be challenging and you can only achieve this through truly objective discussion and insight gathering.
Branding is about getting to the absolute truth in terms of your mission and vision, which in turn will always uncover sales and marketing opportunities you haven’t previously considered. It’s also about understanding what it is that people want from you and that’s not always obvious when you’re close to the business. What’s more, it certainly won’t always be because people are product or cost obsessed.
The fact is you’re dealing with people (your customers) who’ll make split second decisions about your brand based in the first instance on design, closely followed by emotion and relevancy. Ask yourself the following questions; ‘Do we really look the best in our sector?’, ‘Are we a brand that adds value for our customers?’ and ‘Do we offer the best online experience in our sector?’ If you’ve answered ‘yes’ to all of these questions, then I’d urge you to think again.
Where brand experience is concerned, there’s always room for improvement. Continuous assessment and learning about how and why people are interacting with your brand (or not) and developing techniques to improve lead generation and conversion should be top of the agenda. Successful brands avoid complacency and assumption based on subjectivity at all costs.
Furthermore to be a successful brand, you’ll need people in your team who can monitor and interpret digital behaviour, listen to and participate in social conversations, gain and analyse sales insight and be able to use all of this to optimise customer engagement. You’ll need to break down silos and forge cross-functional working and communication too. Despite technology, it’s your people who’ll make this happen.
However without clarity on the ‘what, why, how?’ you’ll find yourself struggling to create or communicate a meaningful mission statement or a realistic vision for the future. And you’ll struggle to do this without objectivity, perceptivity and a continuous process for optimising and developing your brand experience and connection with customers.