Clearly, creating or rejuvenating a company’s brand is a critical initiative. Creating or establishing a strong, vibrant brand is not about creating advertising, an ad campaign, or a new slogan. It is a strategic issue that should be undertaken with a disciplined approach because if done properly, the initiative should be a long-term investment that stands the test of time.
However, to be truly effective, a company’s brand cannot just be an external projection or some creative “face” applied to a company. We believe an organization’s brand must be developed “inside out.” Having a clear understanding of corporate culture, core values, as well as business strategy is vital to the creation of a strong company brand—a brand that is not based on short term marketing positioning, but rather is anchored deeply in the “DNA” of the organization.
So is it time to redefine or rejuvenate your brand?
There are many events that can signal the need for rebranding such as a merger, a major acquisition, a significant change in business strategy, or a new business venture. Even if you are not experiencing one of these milestone events, you can assess your current brand by asking yourself the following questions along 6 simple dimensions of brand strength.
If you are expecting dynamic company growth, category leadership, or a distinctive and superior competitive position and the answers to the following questions do not seem to align with the expectations for your company, perhaps it is time to consider a strategic branding initiative.
- Loyalty – Is this a brand for which a customer is willing to pay a premium? Is the brand consistently in the top 3 of the customer’s considered set? How easily will the customer switch brands? Is retention high?
- Perceived Quality – Compared to other alternatives, is the brand seen as the best, or one of the best?
- Distinctiveness – Is the brand seen as distinctively different on dimensions that are important to a large number of potential users? Does the brand have a “deep drawer” with many rich and positive associations? Is the brand highly respected, trusted, liked, with strong functional and emotional ties.
- Awareness – Is the brand top-of-mind in awareness? Is it a leader in unaided awareness? In recognition?
Of Brandable Assets
Are the visual representations of the brand consistent across applications and geography? Do they consistently enhance the strategy/position of the brand? Do they help the brand stand apart and above the competition? Do they contribute to strong recognition and deliver positive cues for the brand? Are the brandable assets deployed in a manner that maximizes the effectiveness of available brand support resources?
Is share growing? Are sales growing? Is distribution expanding? Is the % of business done on promotion increasing or decreasing?
One final recommendation, if you think it may be time, work with a proven, professional brand development firm to help you create and establish a strong, vital brand that endures over time.
AUTHOR: Terry Slaughter is President and Senior Creative Officer of the Slaughter Group, a consulting and design firm specializing in the creation of external corporate identities and the development of internal cultures. Learn more at our Contributors tab.