If you are desperate for sales, building a brand is not your immediate solution. Brands don’t unlock short term sales, they lock-in value, over the long term.
One should brand something because you want to lay claim to it. It is your special ingredient, your unique way of doing things, your difference in the eye of the customer. It is what sets you apart.
Brand building is not first and foremost about sales, but rather about asking more, in the form of premium pricing. It is about asking more for that special thing that sets you apart.
In this sense brand building requires a long term view of your business. You will reap brand rewards over time as the brand becomes increasingly associated with its specialty.
Obviously, for those who have the perseverance and foresight to invest in brand building, the rewards can be significant:
- Growing customer loyalty as they increasingly associate, and appreciate, your brand with unique benefits.
- Better, more motivated employees who are drawn to what the brand represents and sees more than just another employer paying them salaries.
- Increased business value as the brand represents additional value on top of book value that is difficult for competitors to copy.
But short term sales? No! Don’t try and build a brand for this.
“You don’t build a house to hide from a thunderstorm.”
Rather, treat your sales issue with the appropriate combination of marketing and sales tools to have an immediate impact. Is your product or service good enough? Are you promoting it aggressively enough? Is your distribution wide enough and your price low enough?
Brand building is very different to sales building. In order to build a brand, you need to raise your head above the daily battles and take a much longer term view of things. Where do I want this business to be in a decade’s time? What is the one thing that sets us apart? What unique value do we offer?
Like with anything, you need to match the solution to the problem. Don’t call in a brand agency if you are banging your head against a sales door. Just call in your sales and marketing team, and ask them what to do next. They should know.