“We want to create value for you by sharing marketing tips and timesavers” – O’C&K.
Really good brands provide a sense of belonging.
The very first thing that we in OC&K try to establish with our new customers is whether or not they are clear and specific about who the brand is meant to serve, how it does it and why do existing customers find it relevant, to them.
Allow me to put this in a checklist; we try to determine if the client,
- really knows who the brand is and why it exists
- is clear what the brand represents
- is structured to serve customers (communication / operations)
- is clear as to how they want to be perceived (vs how they are perceived)
Answers to the above questions help us to determine whether the brand is living up to its promise and whether it is being used to facilitate decision making. We get a feel for whether public perception is really a reflection of what the brand is and if it is a fair statement about the brand’s beliefs.
Operations vs marketing.
We have found that many business owners aren’t comfortable in this area. They usually spend approximately 70/80% of their time ‘running’ the business and “don’t have time for marketing stuff”. At the very least, we try to enforce the notion that a critical aspect of their brand development is that of their brand proposition. There are many different names for this out there, so let’s just say a brand proposition should cover a) who is the audience, being offered value, b) what is that value and c) why their brand is unique. Why this brand proposition is so important is that many SMEs have very similar goals and business objectives, the only differentiator being the industry.
If a business is established for a while, it probably is doing a lot of things right but if it wants to, not just survive but differentiate itself and become a great brand, it must have a solid brand proposition. Who wants to be a great brand? I wrote in my last blog that 70% of customers buy from brands because of the way they are made to feel – well, the thing is, great brands provide a sense of belonging, and even meaning, to people’s lives. And guess what? Such brands don’t just appear – they are built from the ground up being focused, offering solutions and being different, in the eyes of the public. So if you have already had a stab at brand positioning or are going to try it for this year’s planning, we at OC&K can help you – if you need it.
Tips and Timesavers.
On a related topic, more and more of late, clients have being asking us how they can start to build their brand online. Such a topic should be the content of a blog post in itself, but I will outline a few pointers below that may be helpful. Whether you do one or all of them it’ll still be much better than just jumping on Facebook or Twitter, because someone told you to do so. We are delighted when SMEs ask about this because it is a sign that they are taking their brand proposition seriously.
- If you don’t have time to write a blog, read others and comment on them.
- Find out where your online audience is. (there are many tools for this)
- Find influencers (and competitors) for your area of expertise and follow them.
- Share content that reinforces your area of expertise.
- If you have a website or blog – provide customers/prospects reasons to subscribe.
To finish, I hope you’ve gained some insights from the above. The fact is that a brand is a way for people to remember how you made them feel and why they will tell others about you. The proposition is all about you – the owner. It’s your vision after all so think about the big picture of your values and your goals. Constantly think about your customers – what are they looking for? What are their goals? Once you have a brand proposition you will have a roadmap of where you want to go with your customers, and that needs to be crystal clear. Wouldn’t you agree?
If you have any other tips or timesavers please leave a reply below. If you’d like to receive similar content, just subscribe by clicking through the pink button, on this page. Of course if you want to get in touch, leave your details and perhaps we might meet for a chat, cheers. Jim – O’C&K
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