Organisations require a strong brand to enable successful business to flourish. Here founder of THERE, Paul Taboure articulates how creating a solid brand foundation, can add real value to your business. Today. And in the future.
In today's business it is almost 'a given' that organisations require a strong brand to enable successful business to flourish. That said, very few organisations or marketing managers, can actually clearly articulate the areas that a solid brand foundation can add value.
Part of our role, as a brand agency is as much about educating, informing and on occasion, hand-holding, as it is about inspiring through strategic and creative design outcomes. Here are just some of the ways that a well positioned brand, a brand that resonates in the hearts and minds of its stakeholders can survive the good, and the not so good times.
A well branded product or service can:
1 – Command price premiums
2 – Increase customer; attraction, acquisition and retention
3 – Attract and retain the best key staff
4 – Positively inform cross-sell opportunities
5 – Protect your brand in turbulent times
1. A strong brand can command price premiums
Even with all my branding training and experience, I still wonder why I just paid three times the amount for a bottle of branded water than I needed to. To be honest, I am a sucker for aspirational brands that I emotionally connect to. Once I form a loyalty and connection I will happily pay 2-3 times the $$ for an item... Purely based on my affliction with the brand. I walk away from the purchase, with a sense of pride and fulfilment (even though my pockets are more empty).
So in summary, building a strong brand that reflects values, that stands for something, and that conveys quality will enable the seller to command a higher than average price premium.
2. A well positioned brand can increase customer attraction, acquisition and aid retention.
There is something in us that is hard wired to notice 'difference' within our environment. Whether it be the attire of the person walking down the street that makes you stare, or a new product's packaging - we just instinctively know, that it is, well, different. It is this insight, that enables customers to be attracted to make a leap of faith and try a new brand, or to have considered the options, and remain faithfully loyal to a brand's product or service.
Take Telstra's rebrand and then closely followed by Optus's. Two market leaders both vying to be be seen as different, unique and special. I was initially attracted by one and considered 'jumping ship', and then it was only when the other responded, did it retain my custom.
3. Attract and retain the best key staff
A strong brand, is a brand that stands for something. Like customers, prospective staff are also attracted by company brands that reflect their own values. Even staff need to be able to believe and connect with a company's values. Think of the fearless 'challenger' brand, Virgin. It is a brand that is continually driven by its 'robin-hood' rebellion brand essence, it is cheeky, irreverent and sexy.
Virgin airline's recent brand revitalisation is a good example of driving staff recruitment and retention. From a nostalgic plane livery graphics overhaul, the uniform's sexy make-over along with their compelling tag line of 'bringing the magic back to flying'. They have a long list of hopefuls wanting to join their airline over the more traditional Australian QANTAS.
4. Volume Cross sell
How often do you find yourself lured to try a new product based on a positive experience and trust of with a certain product? That's because trust creation creates opportunity to increase sales volumes and increase the cross-sell of products. As a personal experience I found that after buying 3M stickies, I was suddenly lured to trying other 3M products... Cellotapes, adhesives and stickers purely based on my positive experience.
5. Reputational Equity
Last, but not least, we take a look at the importance a brand can have on company's reputation. As the saying goes... 'You can look good some of the time, but you can't look good all, of the time'. Sometimes unfortunate and unforeseen circumstances within your business or the industry can threaten an organisation's survival. A strong brand, that has created a 'sense of trust' can leverage this in times of need.
Take global brand BP, and it's 2010 catastrophic oil leak into the Gulf of Mexico. Considered the largest accidental marine oil spill in the history of the petroleum industry, it sent them reeling. Some say, that as one of the world's most recognised brands, it's reputational equity and good damage-controlling PR strategy, during that period, was one of the only aspects that saved it from collapse. When all else failed, it was its credible reputation that enabled it to be more easily forgiven, and given the benefit of the public doubt.
BP's years of investing in its brand and building the perception of a strong, reliable and environmentaly sensitive brand had come to the rescue - it was the very 'trust-creation' that it had created during the good years, that had been 'banked', which ultimately saved BP's reputation in its time of need.
So in summary, investing in your brand today, may pave the way for a success business, further down the line....