Succeed in Branding
If you are the decision-maker at a company that needs to create or renew its brand, here is a question that ought to keep you up at night: Why do some companies succeed at creating brands that boost awareness and sales, while others go through the motions of branding and end up with a brand that can actually suppress awareness and discourage sales?
That’s a question that has kept us up at night too. And the reasons, we’ve found, aren’t always found with the brand agency or the branding process. Here’s the shocking truth: sometimes the reason lies with the company. Sometimes the company simply isn’t ready to brand, because they haven’t achieved internal consensus on what they’re selling and who they’re selling it to.
So we have a rule here at Distility: We won’t take on a client if we don’t know we can get a good result for them. And so we work hard to ascertain that our prospective client is ready to brand.
Because here’s the thing: whether you get a good result or not depends as much on you as it does on us. Assuming you’ve got a good brand agency (hint: that’s Distility, with one “L”) one of the biggest threats to good branding results is the possibility that your team is not done working out the business strategy. We’re not trying to duck responsibility here, honest and for true. But the fact remains that when a company shows up to talk brand and then begin to argue amongst themselves over what their product actually is or who their market ought to be, the chances of a good brand emerging from that conversation are somewhere between zero and none.
We want no part of that kind of scene. It’s no good for our customers, and it’s no good for us and our brand. So what does it take to be ready to brand? Let’s take a quick look.
- You’ve got to know your target audience. If your market definition is vague, or there is a difference of opinion within your team, then the brand promise will go astray or not be as strong as it might be. What’s more, there are all kinds of down-stream problems that crop up if you don’t have your audience nailed down and everybody on the same page.
- You’ve got to know your competition. This ties in with audience – often times a different audience is engaged with different solutions right now. If you think your competition is an enterprise software package when in reality it is little scraps of paper at the bottom of the filing cabinet, you’re going to have a hard time getting your brand position right.
- Both audience and competition tie in to personality. Your corporate personality is complex, no doubt, but the elements you choose to promote to prominence as part of your brand depend heavily on who you’re speaking to and what other brands are out there.
- And if you can’t settle on what the product actually is (this happens more often than you’d suspect) then both audience and competition are up for grabs.
In any of these situations, you’d best take some time before embarking on a branding project. You may be very aggressive and eager to get to market, but if you can wait just a little while longer and get certain about these basics, you could save you a lot of time, money, and opportunity. To help you find out if you and your team are ready for branding, and also for our Distility 1day1brand, visit our “Are You Ready” assessment tool.