IS YOUR BRAND DOING THE WORK?
July 28, 2022
At D+M we are currently working on a number of brand journeys, with some of our partners requiring a complete new brand or an evolution of the existing brand. While conducting some research recently, I was surprised to find the poor quality and relevance of some brands in specific retail categories. Just about all the retail brands competing in this space did not have any differentiation or execute the brand personality very well. In fact, they all looked very similar. It seemed like when it came to developing their brand, they took an easy option and focused on what the competition was doing. Then executed something similar, probably with a mindset of ‘if that brand is doing well, then creating something similar would guarantee a successful and cheaper pathway’, instead of committing to a brand journey process.
When I work on brands one thing is for sure, I make it my business to understand the brand I am working on and the target audience segments. This investment of time to understand how the brand can compete is part of the process. The amount of time and effort I spend on this, along with my team to get it right, is enormous. There are no shortcuts, from writing questionnaires for stakeholders to fill out and provide more insight, ensuring the relevant questions are asked, to participating in a series of meetings and conversations to learn more about the business and the audience they want to attract. Concluding with facilitating workshops to really understand where the business can compete and where it can truly differentiate when compared to competitors. It is this differentiation that will set the brand apart.
Some people do not place importance on this process, which is why most brands fail. The marketplace is a busy world, especially in the digital ecosystem, hence growth requires good branding. Every brand wants your attention and being clear about who you are and being able to clearly communicate that is key.
“Developing your brand alone is hard work, you need to surround yourself with others that are just as passionate about your brand as you are”
Every brand journey is unique, but at the end of the day, the brand must amplify the core assets and elements of that brand’s DNA. When I commence working on a brand, I tend to continually ask myself these questions:
- Who is the customer and if I had 3 seconds of their time, how am I going to tell the story about this brand for it to get noticed? What will that customer remember?
- Who are the real competitors and what are they doing? Is our brand doing the same thing and what is it doing that is truly different?
Low barriers to entry have allowed digital native brands (DNB) to compete very well in the market. But not without flooding the marketplace. As a result of this, some of the good old bricks and mortar brands are suffering, because they have not evolved their brands very well into an online brand. They are not allowing their customers or potential customers to experience the brand the way the customer wants to interact with it. It’s sad to see.
If your brand has been around for a while, take a look and ensure it accommodates those who are attracted to it, and you are letting them experience it the way and when they want to. You need a brand, not just a logo. Branding goes beyond an eye-catching logo; it is rooted in strategy and vision. While a logo is important in creating a visual identity and establishing memorable branding, it is ultimately useless without a strong brand behind it.
Keeping the focus on the consumers and how they engage with the brand, will answer if you need to relook at your brand and evolve it or start again, as it is possible it will give you the presence and differentiation you need.
THOUGHTS TO PONDER
1. WITH MARKETING BEING A FOREVER CHANGING LANDSCAPE, ARE YOU ENGAGING THE RIGHT PARTNERS?
Outsource marketing may be the answer to your growing business.
2. YOU NEED EXPERTS ON YOUR SIDE
Marketing is a strategic process involving the planning, organising and the delivery of the right mix to achieve specific objectives.