How do you position your business brand in the market? Do you even actively try to?
The first job that your marketing department must do is not to generate sales, but to give a clear indication of what makes your business special. This is called brand positioning, arguably the most important part of marketing.
Brand positioning has two parts:
- Brand identity, namely who you are as a business? Your history and culture.
- Brand image, namely how do you want to be perceived? What is the impression you want clients to have of the business?
It is easy to neglect brand positioning, especially when you are a small business. Anyone spending money on marketing is in a hurry for sales but the quality of the sale depends on the brand. The clearer the brand position, the better the sale.
Ironically, over the long term marketing activity becomes more effective and less costly the stronger your brand position becomes. Yet in the beginning it can seem a waste of money to invest in the brand through a quality logo, corporate stationery, signage and website. An investment in the brand provides a long term competitive advantage.
So where to start? A good place is to do an audit of your business brand to see how healthy it is. Here are some pointers for doing such a brand audit:
- Is your logo, as the face of your company brand, clear and easily recognizable amongst the competition?
- Are you keeping to a standard set of corporate colours throughout all your corporate stationery, signage and marketing?
- Have you defined the the story of your company brand? Do you know what you want it to stand for?
- When you ask your staff how they perceive the business and its culture, do they all give fairly similar answers?
- When you ask a sample of your customers how they perceive your business, do they all give fairly similar answers?
Strangely enough, some of the most pressing questions in your business could be answered by one of the most neglected aspects in business: your brand. Make sure you actively position, and manage it from day one.