To win we have to be customer centric not company centric.
Business growth is achieved faster when we are differentiated.
Building a strong brand provides real financial value.
Business growth increases more swiftly By taking creative risks.
Brand building is not a sprint it's a marathon that requires big ideas.
The marketing department of an organization can often appear to be a mysterious place to upper management. On a good day they represent the magic kingdom and on a bad day they represent all that's wrong with the company's sales.
But the truth is, the marketing team represents one of the largest value building engines in the company so it's good to understand what's at the core of their magic (or, what it takes to work their magic).
Is your brand CUSTOMER centric or COMPANY centric?
Customer centric branding and messaging is critical. It's obvious but it's not easy or even usual.
Most companies are company centric because they start from an interest in expressing who the company is and what it does. There are a lot of reasons for this. First of all, it's just natural. Telling people who you are and what you do is normal. However, when you're in business and your desire is to make your business known, liked and trusted by an audience, you have to introduce yourself in a manner that your audience will find interesting and valuable...to them.
Second, all marketing teams face the daily internal political environment. The pressure to please their internal managers can be intense and even the best marketing departments can lose sight of their consumer's interests when interfacing with their management and management's varying agendas.
Third, brand marketers work within their set of immediate problems and challenges. They view what they need to do through that lens often focusing on urgent internal needs.
Support your team in making customer centric marketing and you'll be a hero.
Why business growth is achieved faster through differentiation.
People are bombarded with information. The way we cope with overload is to compartmentalize. We allow the information that is interesting, relevant and useful into our minds and we disregard the rest. Categorizing is helpful to us. We're also emotional beings and we process information both rationally and emotionally.
A brand must differentiate itself to win a spot in our crowded minds. Positioning a brand to win means identifying what makes your brand uniquely different. What can your brand say that others can't, aren't or won't say? What benefits does your brand provide your audience both rationally and emotionally? Standing out from your competition clearly, succinctly and memorably is critical in helping your audience remember and prefer what you offer. It builds confidence in your brand.
If you get that right, you'll be able to fly past the competition.
Strong brands provide real financial value to the companies that invest in building them.
Studies have shown that companies with strong brands are able to attract and retain more customers, charge more for what they offer, retain employees longer and generate higher margins.
Whether you market to a business audience or a consumer audience you're marketing to a human and human's use brands to help organize their preferences.
Take a look at Forbes' list of the world's most valuable brands and the value of building a strong brand will become painfully obvious. http://onforb.es/1XvA
Spending money on building a customer centric brand pays off.
Why a CEO should care about taking creative risks.
"Creativity is the most practical thing a businessman can employ," Ad legend Bill Bernbach.
You can build your brand the hard way by muscling your way to success or you can build your brand an easier way by using powerful, big creative ideas that are well executed.
To be honest, most people either can't get their heads around this, don't know how to pull it off or are just too fearful to take the risk.
But everyone CAN advance their business more swiftly with powerful, big creative ideas well executed. Big ideas are the best value around. They have the ability to break through and engage your audience. They allow you to stand out and be remembered. They are media agnostic. They may even grow into a creative platform that will allow you to reach your customers in all kinds of ways. They aren't valuable, they are invaluable.
Be the champion of big ideas.
Brand building is not a sprint it's a marathon that should be done with enduring creative assets.
I like to say, "Branding is a verb".
The way your brand expresses itself provides your audience with clues about your brand's personality and value.
Your brand's identity is your first touch point. It says so much about how you want your business to be perceived. It gives someone a way to relate to your brand. Yet, untold numbers of companies overlook this or get this most important first impression wrong.
For most businesses the next most important asset is their website. Your website also makes a first impression. Giving it the right look and feel and valuing your customer's experience when using your site are critically important to positively growing your brand's identity.
Providing the resources to get these two early touch points done right is money invested wisely. Don't skimp on hiring a good firm who can provide you with an enduring brand mark and consumer centric website.
When it comes to engaging with your audience big ideas that endure over time make a real difference. It's easy to focus on the media tactics, especially the newest ones, but if you aren't differentiating your brand and pursuing a bid idea that resonates with your audience you're wasting they money you're investing in media no matter how measurable it is. Sorry, I know that this truth hurts.
It's easier to purchase media than to create engaging creative. Give your team the support they need to craft creative worth spending money on.