Treat your company as a brand – research it and define it.

Hands up who knows what a brand is? Well, there are lots of so-called definitions, bu the CIM defines a brand as having the following criteria –

Clarity of perception
You must have to stand for something – a USP with which your company is associated and which make up your property. Your USP must underline everything you do and say. Once you’ve established this, you use it in all your communications.
A positive perception
Yes, I know this might sound obvious, but have you checked that your USP is both unique and appealing…or even accurate?! Too often I have seen that the claim doesn’t actually produce the anticipated perception among the intended prospects. Be bold, give the prospects something to hang their hats on!
A level of differentiation
Bath Marketing Consultancy is constantly asked for the work we do for our client to be “different” from what else is on the market. Differentiation can be very subjective, but the questions to ask yourself is, is my offer clearly distinctive? Really try to avoid being bland or boring or worse still, indistinguishable from the competition.
Reach (or spread)
When actively marketing your company, your aim should be to get the maximum number of prospects for the minimum expenditure. Using multiple initiatives should mean trying hard not to overlap. Instead, your marketing should aim to extend your reach using different media.

What we advocate is standing back and taking a look at yourself – you are a brand in a highly competitive market.

Do not feel ashamed to ask for help! 


I need to re brand

“I want to re brand my business” is a statement I have had thrown at me quite a lot recently by companies who contact Bath Marketing Consultancy.

“Why do you want to…?” is what I throw back……. Bored doesn't mean a re brand

Boredom not a reason for a re brand
The answer I generally receive is that “it is about time” or “I want a new logo” or maybe even “I am bored of the way my company looks.” In my opinion, none of these answers is a proper reason for a re brand and actually, explaining to people what a complete re brand involves i.e the work and the potential costs, timescales etc quite often leads to a swift change of mind by the person I am meeting!

What I want to get across is that, just changing your logo and/or you corporate literature and/or website does not classify a “re brand.” To me, an organisations’ brand goes far deeper than the way it presents itself or the colour of its logo. A brand is all about your personality as a business and is made up of a number of different elements which I have covered in a previous article. Establishing a brand can take decades and making changes to a brand is not something I would to do without some serious thought.

Yes, there are specialist brand agencies out there who will meet the brief of a re brand and charge you a small fortune, but the vast majority of the businesses Bath Marketing Consultancy works with are small to medium enterprises and this means that budgets are very rarely huge and therefore, spending money on “marketing” is a decision that the business owner will not take lightly. I more often than not advise organisations on modernising their look in line with recent upgrades in areas like fonts or a change in industry standard website settings; a sort of evolution rather than a revolution, but very rarely have I come across a business large or small that really needs to re brand.

Yes, I work with a number of start ups who come to me to come up with and launch their brand, which is a very different kettle of fish, but, if you are a business owner and think you need to “re brand” your business, don’t make knee-jerk decisions about your business and the way it looks and operates. Give real thought as to why you want to do it and what the potential outcome could be; talk to your existing customers……and maybe then bring in an expert in this area.

You have a brand whether you like it or not!

Whether you want them to or not, it is highly likely that your business is associated with certain characteristics. It is therefore, up to you to ensure that your customers remember these characteristics for the right reasons. 

They must remember your quality as a business and/or the range of benefits that sets you apart from the competition. If people do not associate you with

anything memorable or particular, your business will be part of the sea or mediocrity where a high amount of other businesses can be found.When you or what you are doing is outstanding or different, the media will pick up on it; sometimes without any effort from you.

Don’t forget that placing loads of emphasis, resources, money and energy on your logo will not make your business stand out. You need to have a distinctive product or service. Logos and slogans can help, but are no substitute for a genuine USP. Once you have done this, you can even “own” your colour or slogan such as the red in Coca-Cola!With the foundations laid, it is time to reach out to your customers…….

What is a brand? How do I get one?

On more than one occasion I have been asked this question and the person asking has then quickly followed up the question with the statement, “it’s the logo isn’t it?” 

Well, in all honesty, the logo is just a small part of what makes up a brand. The logo is more of a device that helps represent the actual values of a company.

To take this further, a brand is a companies’ personality; how it differentiates itself from the competition, its perception in the market place and there are a number of elements that contribute to this. Any marketing activity a company undertakes must be consistent to provide clarity. By this I mean, your organisation should stand for something – it should have a clear USP with which you are permanently associated.

Also, and it may sound obvious, but your company must exude a positive perception that is both unique and appealing. In my experience, a company will too often plumb for a common claim and simply becomes a ‘oh no, not another one’ rather than a ‘brilliant, I will get in touch.’

A great deal of successful brands are able to differentiate themselves from the competition quickly and effectively gaining the maximum number of prospects (and existing clients) for the minimum amount of effort.

My check list in creating your brand is 

Who are your target audience? – define you TA in terms of sector, seniority, location etc
What are their real needs? – markets are becoming more and more fragmented so divide your services or specialise if need be.
Who does your competitor use? – really get to know your competition. It is essential you have the answer to ‘what should I switch to you?’
How do they choose? – who makes the decisions? who is involved? where are they getting their information on which they are basing their decision?
How does your competition operate, how do they present themselves, how are they positioned?

Where do you want to be in relation to this? – this is your USP.
What are your strengths and weaknesses? – do a SWOT and either capitalise on your strengths or eliminate your weaknesses.
Do you need to change direction?
If so, what are the implications? – i.e. you might want to pause a marketing push.

Some of the above might not be answerable, but research your market, invest time, money and energy to give your business an advantage. And of course……………use an outside Consultant to gain objectivity!