management is only for the big boys ... isn't it?
often speak about branding with reverence. It's almost as if
it is the holy grail of marketing... to build a brand.
They'll lapse into all sorts of jargon and start talking
major league budgets. Yet, brand building is something
that all companies do, whatever their size. Many even do
it without thinking ... and that's a problem.
rub away all of the jargon around branding you come down to the
simple notion that a brand is just a piece mental shorthand
used by customers. It encapsulates all of the tangible and
intangible elements of a company's offer to the market in a single
word, a phrase or a logo.
beware, it encapsulates the bad as well as the good. And
customer's have very long memories.
spend úthousands on brand building programmes. You can also
waste úthousands on brand building programmes if the customer
experience doesn't match their expectation.
strongest brands in the world, Coca Cola and McDonalds, have been
built through delivering a consistent customer experience ...
oh, and loads of expensive advertising.
As a small
business you don't have the advertising reach of Coca Cola, but you
can deliver a consistently positive customer experience.
Over time your customers will know what to expect and won't be
disappointed. They will add that to their mental shorthand
list and your company brand will take shape and
proactive control of the
As your company attracts new customers and expands it
is easy to forget the ideals that you started out with. It
might be that next day delivery was a strength that you wanted to
have for your business, but as you got busier you start delaying
deliveries to the following
It won't take long for customers to adjust their
mental shorthand and strike through the line that says 'next day
delivery'. And pretty soon after that, they'll start to shop
around for someone who can reliably deliver next
For your brand to work for you, rather than against
you, it is vital that you proactively decide which elements of your
offer you want to be 'sacrosanct' as they deliver most competitive
advantage. Then make absolutely sure that they stay
'sacrosanct', even if it means investing in new
operations sooner than you had
That way you will always be seen as the company that
can reliably deliver next day, even when you're busy. And your
customer's mental shorthand will become reinforced and exert a
stronger influence on their buying habits ... in your
So take great care that you choose sustainable
attributes of your offer to emphasise to customers. Don't make
a rod for your own back just because it 'sounded
Brand building needn't be expensive but it's
importance must never be
and working pragmatically like this will help you to make
your marketing work better for you in a more memorable way.
This means that your target customers will be able to differentiate
your products and services from those of your competitors and
clearly see the value in buying from you.
If you would like some advice on memorable
marketing techniques for your own business, or you know someone
at another business who might need help, then please contact Adduce Marketing.
The sooner you start, the sooner you will benefit.
Download this handy guide which explains how to
get the best from creating a brand in order to improve business
the Chartered Institute of Marketing as part of
their Directors' Briefing series, this document makes easy
reading for business people of all experience
free service to small businesses in the Buckinghamshire, Berkshire
and Oxfordshire area, the Marketing Effectiveness Assessment
delivers a professional audit of how a business is using the tools
of marketing to communicate to existing and potential customers. It
also includes a series of simple and cost-effective marketing
activities that the business can implement immediately and at low
Download the factsheet now.
Chartered Institute of Marketing
Marketing UK (information portal)