company branding brand development

Company branding. They think much longer term

With brand development, there’s one thing to be avoided at all costs: the need for instant gratification. Brand is not a splash and dash of graphic design on a new ad or set brochures. The picture of previous neglect and cheap, short-term commitment that’s conjured up by term ‘brand refresh’ is the polar opposite of the genuine love, romance and nurturing a brand actually needs to thrive.

Yes, sure, a new logo and guidelines, new tactical marketing and some spurious campaign messaging can be turned out to set out a new purpose. But so often it’s just identity work, skipped forward to make everyone feel as though something has been delivered, rather than created to make customers feel something.

You see, it doesn’t matter how well presented your proposition is, if it’s not right and doesn’t attract customers away from your competition, it’s a waste of time and money.

Great brands transcend all of that

They live and breathe a built-in relevance that drives their resilience. They’re a product of purpose, curated and iterated and honed over time. They drive the whole organisation and are loved and prized by your audience groups.

Their reason for being isn’t just to help achieve the quarterly figures. There are always some quick wins to be had, of course. But brand development should be seen as a five-year plan – checked, measured and sustained with constant feedback. In our experience accountants and FD’s hate brand development. The results are not always sales-immediate enough, so it’s difficult to justify the investment.

Company branding. Actually, there are sensible barometers and dashboards to measure brand impact. But so often we only see brands when it’s too late. When, after years of neglect and declining turnover, there’s simply no money or energy left to invest in changing a bad perception.

We recently spoke to a once highly successful organisation that had brought in investors as an insolvency package. The new owners dismissed brand innovation in favour of cowering back to the status quo that had sent the business bust. Unsurprisingly, the organisation continued to bleed out, but this time at the expense of the investors. They’ve now pulled out, nothing has changed, and the business is back on the brink.

So the fear persists, and round we go

But there are examples of organisations all around us that invest robustly, commit to relevance and see the whole program through to keep their brand fit and on point. These organisations don’t treat their brand as a quick fling. Instead they understand it’s the most valuable asset on their balance sheet.

Strong, attractive SME brand principles

Things great brand know. No 1

Why should only the large corporates have the powerful marketing advantage?


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