© Martin Keith S. | Branding, Brand Delivery | Comments Share this page:
A product or service may be ordinary. But a brand makes it special...A brand combines function and use with value and benefit as well as ascribable properties that are recognised and described in the mind of the user.
Marketeers strive to make their brand, first choice or preferred choice in the mind of the customer for the product or service they wish to provide - nowhere else counts.
Everyone connected with maintaining and enhancing a company's reputation and image is, in effect, honing and improving the brand values with everything they do, any time, any place, any where.
You're either supporting and enhancing the brand and brand values or you are neglecting and diminishing them, there is no middle ground!
A brand occupies a position in the heart and the mind of a customer. It is hard work establishing that position and it's just as hard retaining that position!
Take motor vehicles for example; there may not be very much to choose between various marques and models and often very little in price but somehow, somewhere the cachet is greater between one brand and another - branding makes the difference! Brands and brand values need to be consistent in terms of recognition, perception and application; there is not a lot of point having a black horse symbolising an expression of freedom if somewhere else in the organisation are restrictions or limits on what a customer can and can't do. The black horse soon becomes a cart horse! Similarly, on line, Intelligent Finance needs to be perceived as that, there cannot be any "silly" mistakes.
Think of a brand as a cellular construction:
F = Function
E = Evaluation
P = Psychological Properties
Put the three together in a triangle and build on them and your brand can become and remain first choice in the mind of the customer. Sacrifice one element in one triangle somewhere and the dangers are the carefully built construction becomes a house of cards.
Each of your people portrays through their personality, an element of the brand and brand values. If they're positive, warm, friendly and persuasive, this confidence will be communicated to the customer.
In order to improve your image and reputation, you may require to identify the key characteristics which customers hold in high esteem for the product or service you provide. If you are then better than everybody else in the provision of that product or service, your brand occupies first or preferred choice in the mind of the customer. The challenge is to carefully bury the least important of the six characteristics and attributes and add in the next one to ensure that you are:
* Right for the customer of today
* Attractive for the customer of tomorrow
* Reassuringly predictable for the customer for life
In an ideal world, the brand that occupies the customer's mind for the majority of time is likely to be selling products and services that don't come back and bite you, to customers who do come back and praise you again and again! They are telling friends about how good you are so that you may enjoy (and deserve) a lifetime of customer loyalty.
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