A strong brand is one of a company’s most valuable assets. It can engage and retain customers, create market credibility, and ultimately drive more revenue.
Don’t take my word for it. It’s a fact: Companies that consistently invest in brand building outperform the S&P 500.
How do you know when your brand has devolved from strong to stale? When is it time to activate a new or revised brand strategy? Here are five telltale signs to watch for.
1. Your brand doesn’t articulate your company’s competitive differentiation
A strong brand supported by a consistent experience and an integrated marketing strategy helps differentiate your company against the competition. Effective brand development leverages current areas of strength to create a white space (or blue ocean) that your company can own. Because it’s yours and yours alone, a strong brand is one of the few sustainable, non-replicable forms of competitive advantage.
2. Your company strategy evolves to include a new or revised target audience.
At times, the organization will deliver a new technology or service product that enables us as marketers to address a whole new market. A key step in addressing this new audience is ensuring that the existing brand is relevant to them. For example, in our work with one national telecom provider, we identified a new market opportunity that resulted in a 10x lift in revenue for an existing business unit. This required us to assess and adapt the existing brand for this newly-identified target customer.
3. You’re integrating two brands following a merger or acquisition.
The Harvard Business Review reports that, “study after study puts the failure rate of mergers at somewhere between 70-90%.” Often, overlooking the branding aspect of the merger is a major factor in the failure. There’s far more to a merger than slapping a hyphen between the names of the two joining companies. Not only is it important to integrate the brand strategy but it’s even more important to consider the desired culture (or the internal brand) for the newly-formed company.
4. A material event impacts the market’s perception of your brand.
If a strong brand presence is missing, customers and employees will form perceptions about your company whether you want them to or not. A material event like a product recall or executive scandal can heavily influence those perceptions. Introduction of a strong brand provides the opportunity to raise marketplace expectations that something different can be experienced with your company moving forward.
5. The external marketplace or competitive situation has evolved.
Even if we control – or heavily influence – all that occurs inside our walls, things happen. Housing markets crash. Competitors release new products. The needs of your targeted customer shift and change. The competitive, political, economic, social, technological, and environmental landscapes have a major impact on our consumers. And our brands need to evolve to keep up.
By Maria Trysla – Marketing Strategy for B2B Companies
Did any of these signs feel familiar? If so, check out my 4 Steps to Revitalizing Your B2B Brand or send me a message on LinkedIn.
About CMG Partners
CMG enables complex organizations to realize their market potential, becoming more agile, and more focused on growth. We’re strategists and practitioners in equal measure, backing up our thinking with a sharp understanding of execution. Clients from Fortune 500 powerhouses to startup ventures trust CMG to lead category-changing marketing strategies to success. We deliver strategy, go-to-market, agile and analytical programs with speed and dexterity.