What your brand is
In times of uncertainty people are looking for something they can trust. Reliability. A point of reference. Something more substantial and durable than price. That’s where brand – your brand – gives you a competitive advantage. It gives you the opportunity to be more attractive, more appealing, more relevant and, ultimately, more successful than your rivals. So it’s important to understand what your brand is.
Your brand is the experience that people have of your business. Good or bad. That customer experience is influenced by every interaction people have with your company, however large or small.
What is significant about Covid-19 is that the enforced isolation and restriction on movement has removed many of the familiar points of contact. The current pandemic has driven the world online. Customer behaviour has changed. The majority of B2B decision makers now prefer a digital sales process*. As consumers stayed at home, online retail spending in the UK reached a record 32% in May 2020**. Covid-19 has undermined the brand experience of many businesses.
In most sectors there is usually little difference between what rival companies are offering. ‘What’ you do is rarely enough to make you stand out. To create a competitive advantage you need to consider ‘How’ you do it, as well.
Supermarkets are a good example. Tesco is the UK market leader, with 27% market share. Aldi has 8%, but this has grown by 5% in the past 8 years. In that same period Tesco’s has dropped by almost 4%. Aldi have created a competitive advantage. Not by revolutionising ‘what’ they do (sell groceries), but by focusing on ‘how’ they do it. Aldi offer fewer choices, lower prices and faster checkouts. Each of these elements create a better experience for their customers.
Defining your brand experience
Your brand experience is built around recognising – and balancing – these two elements: “what” you do, and “how” you do it. A common mistake businesses make is focussing on what they do, and overlooking the importance of how they do it.
“What” you do for your customers – the products or services you provide – are more closely connected to the physical interaction customers have with your business. But, there is more to the brand experience for customers than simply the price of your product or the quality of your service.
“How” you do things in your business is usually determined by your purpose and your values. Your purpose is a statement that describes why you do business. Your values are a set of guiding principles that should influence how you do business. Together, these two elements should determine how you behave and, as a result, influence the experience of your customers.
Where many businesses struggle is achieving a balance between the two, so the brand experience lacks consistency, which damages trust. A recession, where your connection to your customers is fractured, can make it even harder to achieve that balance.
Brand can drive your business success
This damage to the brand experience is important, because your brand has the potential to drive your business success – even in a recession. It can bring focus. Not just to your logo and your marketing activity, but to every aspect of your business. It can help you to understand which products and services to offer your clients, identify the right people to join your company, select the most effective marketing message, create a compelling customer proposition and increase your profit margin.
Your brand has the potential to transform your business. But before you can do this, you need to understand what your brand is.
Get in touch
If you would like to have a chat about what your brand is, drop us an email. It would be great to hear from you!
Our services: How can we help you?
A clear brand strategy will create a competitive advantage for your business. It will make it easier to win new customers. This is because it brings focus to your business. It will identify what’s most important, so you can make the best use of your resources.
Read more about Brand strategy >
Your brand identity will help you to raise your profile and stand out from your rivals in a competitive environment. We’ll work with you to create a strong brand identity that is distinctive and memorable, so you can make an impact, in print and on screen.
Read more about Brand identity >
Strong brand management will drive your business success more efficiently and effectively. It is the process of building a relationship with your customers, by managing the quality of their experience, through every interaction.
Read more about Brand management >
Photo: Aldi Press Centre