How effective is your brand?

Why a strong brand will help your business grow

According to the English dictionary, a brand is: ‘a mark formally put-upon criminals with a hot iron’.

Nothing as painful in the world of marketing though, well hopefully!

The definition of the brand we’re referring to is: ‘the use of logos, symbols or product design to promote consumer awareness of goods and services’.

Now we all know what it is, do you think you really understand your businesses brand?

Is it an asset to your business and if not, how do you go about changing it?

More than just a logo

It’s easy to think about a brand as just a logo.

Possibly it’s because there are many businesses out there that are recognisable around the world by just their logo. But it didn’t start out like that. Brand is how you service your clients, present your product, market yourself, how you and your staff present yourselves and of course your online presence.

How much do you value your brand?

If you run a business, you have a million and one things to think about and account for, so marketing can often get pushed to the back of the queue. But the world is fast paced and competitive, so keeping on top of your marketing will keep you at the forefront and show people that you care about your business.

Each year, you’ll probably budget for building costs, staffing, insurance etc and design and marketing should be on there too. It might seem like a luxury but without it, your business is going to be restricted. Then every 5 to 7 years, you should allocate a larger budget to cover bigger updates and innovations.

You need to make sure you continue to stand out from the crowd.

You might think that Tesco hasn’t changed its branding in years but actually here have been many changes. They’re just so subtle that you don’t really notice them.

How much budget should I allow?

As a general rule, companies should spend around 5% of their revenue on marketing, although it depends on the industry. That figure rises to 20-50% in highly competitive industries, such as retail, consumer products and pharmaceuticals.

Do you know what your marketing budget is and how you’re spending it? What percentage of it is going on your brand?

Is branding really important for a small business?

Imagine how you’d feel if you received an information pack from an estate agent or financial adviser and none of it matched. Would you think you were about to get a professional service? Would you think that they are someone who really knows what they are doing? No. Probably not. We like consistency, we trust consistency, we recognise consistency.

Knowing that branding isn’t just about a logo but a consistent design for stationery and emails for example, will give your customers confidence. It sets you apart from your competition.

I think I need to look at our brand

If you’ve realised that your brand has been ignored, doesn’t exist or has been under funded, it’s time to take a stand.

If you don’t have the creative capabilities in-house, consider investing in professionals to help you. Designers and marketing agencies will be able to work with your business to create a new brand or revamp an existing one. There’s more to it than you might think, so it pays to get it right first time.

You’ll need to consider:

  • Finding a clear name which is relevant and meaningful to your product or service
  • Your businesses personality
  • Creating a strong logo
  • Any feedback about your existing brand
  • Consistency, so that logo, slogan and tone of voice all match up.

 

To gain maximum benefit from a strong brand, you’ll need to have a business strategy.

Which areas will you focus on, such as design, marketing and advertising?

A great advertising campaign can turn your business around but if you don’t have a user-friendly website or the marketing material to back it up, you can fall at the first hurdle.

There are a multitude of local design agencies so you can shop around to find one that works for you.

Recommendations are a great way to start, then speak to an agency and just see how they can help you.

Have your budget ready and work with whoever you feel comfortable with.

Can I afford an effective brand?

We like to work with our clients to understand their business and their customers. If you need to invest in your business, we can help get your finances in order. That way, you can focus on running your business and everything else that comes with that.

Why not arrange to come and visit us at one of our THP offices located in ChelmsfordCheamWansteadSaffron Walden and London City.

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