Growth was weak but stabilising – until the coronavirus hit.
– OECD Economic Outlook, March 2020
Market instability will always uncover any underlying strengths and weaknesses within individual brands and businesses alike. For the latter, with no global economic relief in sight right now and a panicked market, it’s hard to face up to the need for a brand review or revamp when your primary focus is likely on tactical discounting and short-term cost savings for survival.
What is the difference between a brand refresh and a full rebrand?
In our experience, you can achieve major improvements to your competitive position with a simple brand refresh rather than invoking major changes or undertaking a full rebrand.
But, can this be done at a low cost?
The short answer, absolutely. A brand refresh can be done whilst minimising cost, time and distraction within your business and still enable you to re-engage your customers, win back your share of the market and create lasting benefits for years to come.
A brand refresh does not always mean investing in new logos and colours, although they may become part of the job. An effective brand refresh looks closely at the current customer experience. Following which, identifies ways in which you can restore faith in your product and gain momentum in your sector whilst providing high value to your customers in every facet of your business.
In service sectors – such as hotels, restaurants, wellness and events, the way to do this whilst minimising disruption to daily operations, is to prioritise key brand touchpoints. These are the ‘pain’ points as well as face to face opportunities to create a ‘wow’ for your customers.
Understanding the market means understanding your customers’ priorities.
Understanding your customers’ priorities in addition to understanding how your competitors are adapting to market conditions are both key components of the job. Insights like these will identify the kind of improvements that will strike the right note for your target audience, as well as your customers, in the current climate – including quick, easy wins for your business.
Instead of undermining your brand reputation with unsustainable discounting or cutting corners on quality, this is the time to respond in a more sensitive way to market conditions and set your sights on increased market share…at the right price.
86% of customers – whether clients or consumers – will pay more for a better experience.
– PwC UK Forecast
Trust in your workforce to deliver high value solutions.
Keeping your staff fully on board to deliver the best possible customer experience at every touch point can be difficult.
A brand refresh is an ideal opportunity to fully engage or re-engage your teams throughout your business, to be honest about the need to go the extra mile and trust them to deliver with full company support.
There may be less job churn at the moment, however, workforce motivation and commitment levels are transparent at the sharp end of service delivery. Because of this, maintaining and increasing commitment will determine success or failure whatever the no matter the environment the current market is facing.
Our approach for a brand refresh is simple, yet straightforward:
- Gain insights from both customers and competitors
- Innovate at key brand touchpoints
- Engage your workforce throughout the process
- Communicate with your audience about your new innovations
- Measure and review the refresh for predetermined success metrics
Are you looking to undertake a brand refresh, or perhaps you’d like to get an idea on where to start? Drop us a line, we’d love to help!
When was the last time you undertook a brand audit?
Having a strong brand is essential for your business. If your branding is not generating value, you are compromising opportunity.
A brand audit becomes a brand investment:
Any investment into your business will be rigorously considered against a set of parameters and ROI. A brand refresh or undertaking a rebranding initiative is very often considered when a business reaches a milestone. For example, when reaching 10, 15, 20 years in business, or when a new CMO/COO joins the company, presenting reason to rethink the status quo or to make improvements to the brand image.
Whilst these can make for sound courses of action, there is a more analytical approach required to well-rounded brand management.
Brand performance should be assessed and evaluated on a timely basis to ensure that your branding is in line with your vision and values, relevant to stakeholder groups – both external customers and internal – and consistently experienced across all touch points.
The significance of strong, relevant branding:
A powerful brand will inspire and engage your audience and ultimately increase conversions and sales. A strong, consistent brand retains customers and requires less spend to attract new ones. A powerful brand also cultivates referrals and commands a premium.
However, an inconsistent, irrelevant and or disconnected brand will not achieve desired results such as these.
What is a brand audit?
A calculated approach to brand management should involve regular brand audits. A brand audit, often termed a brand health check, is a thorough examination of a brand’s current position in the market, against the competition, providing a review of effectiveness. A comprehensive brand audit will reveal new growth opportunities for your business, and new ways to make your brand resonate with both existing and a new generation of target customers who will represent your brand’s long-term future. Even seemingly successful brands need a regular brand audit or health check to keep them on track to reach their goals.
In short, a brand audit will assess and evaluate the performance of your brand against a series of criteria including:
- Relevance to achieving your business vision and reflecting your established business values
- Your relevance in the marketplace to stakeholder groups – especially your primary target audience
- The integration of your brand’s visuals, services and products in relation to customer experience
- The consistency of your branding across all customer touch points.
A brand audit can be scaled to any business size, sector and customer base, and can be as thorough as required. Most importantly, undertaking a brand audit will deliver solutions that can be transformed into actionable results. Gaps in your branding will be identified (or not!) and investment into your rebrand, brand refresh or customer experience application efforts can be efficiently focused and tailored.
Keeping branding relevant and on track is important in driving brand value and relevance. Similarly to any other asset, your brand requires managing diligently through application, monitoring, evaluation and maintenance.
At IM London, we love branding and pride ourselves in being experts in maximising our clients’ brand value with strategic execution and considered creative solutions. If you need to assess your brand performance, need support with a brand audit or are looking to undertake a brand refresh, we’d love to speak to you about your branding goals.
Drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org!
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