April 12, 2016
The landscape of branding and marketing is constantly evolving, and remaining competitive as a brand is dependent upon your ability to roll with the ebb and flow of consumer-determined trends and patterns. Finding innovative ways to appeal to your customer base is becoming increasingly challenging, which makes the need for brand assessment more important than ever. Stagnancy can cause crippling damage for brands by hindering growth and development within a market that can seemingly change overnight. To avoid your brand falling into a groove, being forgotten, or failing to perform as an industry leader, you can pose fundamental questions that tackle the what, how, and why of brand performance. In looking at your brand with a critical eye, you’ll be able to find underutilized resources, draw inspiration from competitors, and find the gaps in your branding that need to be filled. Try using these questions as a starting point for brand evaluation.
Before you can market what separates your brand from another, you have to fully understand what you have that your competitor’s don’t. What is it that truly makes you brand unique? Why would a customer want to choose you over your competitor(s)? These are the things customers, viewers, and users look for when they weigh similar brands against one another, and determining how your brand succeeds where a competitor doesn’t is a detail you can capitalize on.
Think of this question as the opposite perspective to question number one. What do your competitors have that you don’t have, but need? The best place to gain customers and an audience is by targeting your competitor’s following. In order to successfully get the attention of those customers, your brand has to have more appeal than the competitor. What do your competitors do that you don’t, and what is it that draws customers to that brand?
To avoid the aforementioned stagnancy and implement innovate new branding tactics, you have to know how to reach your customers. Understanding the different mediums through which your brand message is relayed to customers is critical to exposure and success. Is there a popular new platform that you could be communicating with customers through? Which channels are the most successful at reaching customers?
You can’t implement brand development improvements if you aren’t sure of what the bottom line for the brand is. It’s essential for everyone employed or involved with your brand to have a clear understanding of what the end goal is. What is it you’re trying to give your customers? What goal is every individual effort catering to? Having a clear objective not only makes creating an action plan easier, but it also keeps brand facilitators focused on a common intention.
The most natural way to drive brand performance is by ensuring a positive customer or user experience. By providing a pleasant and efficient experience with real utility, you can inspire customers to return to and recommend your brand. Customer experience is one of the few factors that isn’t easily manipulated, so if you can offer credible services, products, and/or information, your brand’s capability will speak for itself.
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