Making your business stand out, particularly in a saturated market, can be an almost impossible task.
One of the main ways that businesses try to distinguish themselves from one another is by developingCorporate Identity, Corporate BrandingandProduct / Service Brandingstrategies.
You’d be forgiven for thinking that these three things are the same thing and while they do share certain similarities, they are quite different.
At Amberry, we can help you to understand how your brand and identity can help you and your business stay on message and really drive your company’s values home to your target audience.
Corporate Identity relates primarily to the “look and feel” of your company, the internal factors that show how your business is run; how it’s organized, its ethics and how it integrates into the business world.
Your company’s identity should offer a range of distinguishing characteristics that separate it from any other similar businesses – i.e. your competition. The quality and focus of your company’s products and services, in addition to their uniqueness, will also contribute to your company’s corporate ID.
Corporate identity is often represented by a unique LOGOor image. Some of the most successful companies in the world need no additional narrative to deem them instantly recognisable.
Corporate Identity & Communication
As well as the visual aspect of a company’s corporate identity, how you communicate with the different stakeholders in your business can also have a significant impact on your company’s corporate ID.
Ask yourself …
What do YOU think about companies who still use fax technology?
What do YOU think about companies who send regular e-mail updates and are visibly active on social media?
When you’re greeted by a scruffily dressed sales person, what impression does that give YOU about the company they work for?
It’s crucial to periodically take a step back and take a long, hard look at your business from an outsider’s point of view. Only then will you be in a position to decide what changes need to be made to improve your brand and ultimately your bottom line.
Corporate branding relates to the emotional relationship people have with your company – how your customers and potential customers feel about you and what you do.
Client perception is absolutely vital to your business. Never, EVER underestimate its power. Especially since many people now have the tools and know-how to alter, undo, change and enhance brand perceptions, simply by the click of a social media ‘send’ button!
Your brand tells the world:
WHO you are, WHAT you do, WHY you do it, and who you do it FOR.
Do your customers trust YOU?
Are they confident that YOU will provide a quality product or service?
Do they see YOU as being ethical?
Do they feel they get value for money from YOU?
Would your customer recommend YOU to a friend or business associate?
One of the main stumbling blocks for companies when it comes to company branding is inconsistency.
Nothing makes a company look more unprofessional than inconsistent or outdated client facing resources. This includes absolutely everything from price lists and brochures, to email footers, branded apparel and pop up banners.
Brand consistency is absolutely crucial to establish and retain customer confidence.
A good start is to develop a set of Brand Guidelines which lays out EXACTLY how you wish your company to be perceived. This will become an invaluable tool for all of your employees as well as any external contractors and agencies, to make sure they adhere to the rules you set out.
Product & Service Branding
Branding products and services can be a very shrewd move for many businesses as it goes a long way to achieving customer loyalty. It can also offer some protection from the competition, giving you greater control over your marketing mix.
Companies brand their products and services to give them greater differentiation in the marketplace. A great example of this is the ‘luxury vs budget’ argument.
The ingredients in a bottle of ‘Luxemint Mouthwash’ retailing at £5.45 can be practically identical to a store’s own brand version, on the shelves at £1.20. But the consumer may still choose to pay almost five times as much, simply because of the perceived brand value.
And, as an added bonus, after making a satisfactory brand decision for the first time, the customer will be more likely to make repeat purchases without major reconsideration. How’s that for a captive audience?
Supply Chain Flexibility
Product branding can also be used to give a company additional control over raw material suppliers.
That ‘store brand’ bag of cement might have travelled several thousand miles to the local DIY store, but the customer still perceivesit to be a ‘local purchase’ and will return for more, showing brand loyalty.
Similarly, that very same cement manufacturer might one day go out of business, urging the DIY store to find another supplier to ensure a continuous supply to its customers. Since the product has been fulfilled in their own branded packaging – the supply chain transfer could be practically seamless, since the DIY store would have their new supplier use the same packaging and the customer would hardly notice a difference, if at all.
Changing Your Brand
The cardinal rule of branding: If it’s working for you – leave it alone!
Companies often try to improve their image by changing their brand identity with the hope of altering customer perception. But it doesn’t always go to plan.
Do you remember New Coke? No? That’s probably because it’s not around anymore.
New Coke was the unofficial name for the reformulation of Coca-Cola introduced into the USA in 1985 by the Coca-Cola Company to replace its original flagship formula. Taste tests had proven that consumers who were purchasing regular colas seemed to prefer the sweeter taste of Pepsi-Cola (its main rival) and the Coca-Cola Company set out to reformulate and rebrand the iconic soft drink, in an aim to recapture some of its lost market share.
However, the American public’s reaction to the change was extremely negative, some would go as far to say even hostile. Why fix something that wasn’t even broken?
Although New Coke was only on the shelves for three months, the company admitted the error of its ways and returned to the “classic” version of its best-selling soft drink. But it cast a very long shadow in both the business world and popular culture and is one of the most frequently mentioned cautionary tales among businesses against tampering too extensively with well-established and successful brands
Let us help you to get the very best out of your brands!
Call us on 07873 684858 or email email@example.com to discuss how we might be able to help you further.