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! 


What makes up a brand?

Bath Marketing Consultancy has been asked a number of questions recently about the word “brand.” These questions usually relate to whether a logo is a brand or whether a brand is more than that and if so, what?

Therefore, below is my take on what makes up a brand and, if you invest time, money and resources into your brand, you are very likely to reap the rewards. Branding, Brand, MarketingA brand will be made up of a collection of different perceptions that will have been built up after exposure to every aspect of your business. This can be a myriad of different things:

  1. Product design and experience
  2. Packaging
  3. Sales experience – your sales people or distributors
  4. Service experience – during the sale and after
  5. Advertising messages and straplines
  6. The way you look and sound – imagery, colour, fonts, personality and tone
  7. Your website, blogs or mentions on social networking sites
  8. The price, and how you discount
  9. Your reputation
  10. The shop, office or factory experience
  11. Uniform, badges, vans and trucks
  12. Your people
  13. The logo
  14. Your name

Bath Marketing Consultancy is an expert at developing, building and then marketing brands so please let us know if you need any help.

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!