For me it means having a distinct identity and reputation in the market. It means creating distance between you and your competitors in the minds of your customers in terms of how you can deliver value. It’s being recognisable and memorable and inspiring trust and loyalty in your target audience.
It’s pretty simple. Strong brands make more money.
They convert more of their visitors into prospects. More of their prospects become customers. Strong brands are more likely to receive referrals. The sales process is likely to be easier. Customers are likely to be less price sensitive. Their customers are more likely to remain loyal and be less price sensitive. They find it easer to roll out new products or services. Marketing and sales become easier and more successful.
Having a weak brand means you are often no different in the eyes of your customers than your competitors. They’ll likely struggle to recognise or recall who you are and how you offer them unique value. Marketing and sales will be a constant struggle to remind them you exist and that you have something of value to them.
With a weak brand, you’ll often end up competing on price and inclusions. You’ve given customers very few reasons to spend more of their money with you than with your competitors. For this same reason, customers are unlikely to be sticky and you’ll need to spend money to find new customers on a regular basis. Marketing will be harder and heavily reliant on expensive bottom-of-the-funnel campaigns (i.e. finding prospects ready to buy right now) where competition is generally fierce and expensive.
Without digital, creating a strong brand with reach outside of your immediate location was harder than it is now. It involved advertising on TV, radio and in print. Direct mail, billboards, telemarketing and more were needed to stay front of mind.
This is no longer the case. We have small clients with amazing brands. And from time to time, larger clients who make their lives so much harder by neglecting their overall brand.
Brand building is at its core a conversation about long-term versus short-term value. Many of the steps needed will not deliver a measurable ROI in the short term. In fact, lots of activities may never be measurable. Successful brand builders know this and work tirelessly using a combination of gut feel, customer insights and data. Having a strong brand means you will be in the conversation as your audience moves through their buyer journey. Most importantly, when it comes time for them to speak to someone or make a purchase, you will already be in the mix, with a headstart on those businesses they are about to interact with for the first time.
Time for an honest assessment. How well do you score in each of these areas?
Firstly, if it’s missing, you need to change the mindset of your organisation so it genuinely sees value in brand-building activities. This needs to be adopted from the top down.
Then, you should accept that building a brand is not an overnight fix. You should commit to getting started on a specific day not too far in the future. You should use internal or external expertise to build a strategic plan which prioritises easy and high-impact activities first. There are usually plenty of quick wins ready for the taking. Your strategy should then outline how and when the more long-term activities are going to be tackled.
If you are struggling with strategy, it can be confusing to know how to structure a digital marketing plan. Get in touch! We can help you understand where you’re currently weak and discuss quick wins to start turning things around.
We have an incredible creative team who would love nothing more than to work on your ads, landing pages, messaging, brand identity, content, videos and more.
Following this, our marketers and strategists will create a plan for how best to target your audience as they move through their buyer journey using digital channels.
David Lawrence is the MD and Co-Founder of Rocket, an award-winning Australian digital marketing agency. He is also the co-author of the Amazon #1 best-selling marketing book 'Smarter Marketer'. David has presented at several events including Inbound, Search Marketing Summit, Mumbrella360, CEO Institute and a variety of seminars and in-house sessions.
David has built his expertise from a diverse career, starting with an economics degree before jumping into all things web in the late 90s.
Today, David is Rocket's Managing Director and is known for his ability to find clarity in the bigger picture. He is highly respected as a digital marketing authority, sharing his expertise with an extensive network here in Australia and around the world.