Would you say your organization considers brand building a high priority?
Nearly 60% of respondents to our 2021 study say their organizations do, but we noticed big differences among the segmented groups:
- Brand Believers believe a strong brand is beneficial and the financial investment required to develop it is worth it. But just 17% of Brand Believers agree that they work in organizations where brand building is a high priority.
- Metrics Masters have a strong focus on analytics and understand why it’s so important to develop and improve brand strategy. They’re all in because they’re watching the numbers and measuring the results of brand development activities. When asked whether their organizations prioritize brand building, 26% said yes.
- Disengaged Doubters have other priorities besides brand development because they’re not quite sure if branding is all that important in today’s world. Only 6% agreed that the organizations they work for make brand building a priority.
We asked these same leaders whether branding should be a priority in their organizations. Not surprisingly, 36% of Brand Believers agreed it should be while 28% of Metrics Masters agreed. Just 2% of Disengaged Doubters said their companies should prioritize brand building.
What do you think? Should brand building be a high priority in your organization?
In this post, we’ll discuss what it means to make brand building a high priority and where to begin if you’re not sure your organization has prioritized it enough.
Integrating branding into everything your business says and does makes it a high priority. Since branding is differentiation, companies should be able to live the brand at every level.
“In one sense, perhaps the most important sense, a brand is a promise. Think of some top brands and you immediately know what they promise: McDonald’s, Coca Cola, Budweiser, Ford, Apple, MetLife. You know what you’re going to get with a well-branded product or service.”Forbes
In a previous post, we discussed a holistic focus for organizational success. The most successful companies measure success holistically — that is, at every level of the business. Prioritizing brand building is very similar.
Sometimes when thinking about brand development, companies forget to look beyond their logo design, website, and marketing collateral. But your organization’s brand includes how your company differentiates itself from competitors on the outside and how it defines its culture on the inside.
This is what we mean by living the brand at every level. Your brand’s credibility, promise, and differentiating factors make up the personality that others will see and experience in every interaction with your organization.
How To Determine If Your Organization Prioritizes Brand Building
Whether you are a Brand Believer, Metrics Master, or Disengaged Doubter, you likely have a sense of how stringently your organization prioritizes brand development.
If you’re still not sure how strong your brand is, you can assess its strength by asking four key questions that’ll help you determine whether your company is living the brand at every level:
- What’s our company’s reputation?
- How satisfied are our customers? Do people get what they expect based on what our branding communicates?
- Are our sales increasing over time?
- Do we have marketing standards in place so that we’re spending less time on marketing activities and those activities are more effective?
The answers to the above questions can serve as a guide for making brand building a higher priority.
- The company reputation depends on your credibility and brand promise. Does your business do what you say it will do? Can customers count on your team staying true to your brand promise with every interaction? Remember the brand promise is the value customers receive from you, the experience they have when buying your products or services. Developing a strong brand depends on a strong reputation for quality service.
- Customer satisfaction goes hand in hand with company reputation. If your customers’ experience with your brand remains so consistent they can count on your company delivering what your brand promises to deliver — and in a timely manner, resolving any issues immediately and professionally — they’ll be more satisfied and will uphold your reputation. They’ll also contribute to your brand strength because they’ll be more likely to refer you, increasing awareness of your brand among their colleagues, family, and friends.
- Increasing sales follow a strong reputation and customer satisfaction. A reputation for quality products and outstanding customer service could only result in a stronger brand that draws more leads, more referrals… and more sales!
- Marketing standards should be built on insight from your current customers. Listening to your current customers can provide you with brand vocabulary for your whole team to use when they’re talking about your company and the services you offer. The testimonials of current customers provide another powerful element in your marketing playbook. Together with a consistent brand vocabulary, testimonials help position your brand well in the marketplace. Over time, this leads to effective marketing activities that take less time to implement.
Making brand building a priority includes strengthening your brand’s reputation, striving to satisfy the customers you’re serving, growing through increased sales, and maintaining consistent marketing standards built on insight from your customers.
When organizational leaders are unsure about brand building, they may feel they’ll sacrifice focus on other things if they choose to focus on developing a strong brand. But that couldn’t be farther from the truth.
“By creating and maintaining a recognizable brand that’s set apart from competitors by strong differentiators, a clearly defined personality, growing awareness and loyalty, companies can steadily increase their value and revenue.”
If you incorporate branding into all aspects of business, it’s just part of all that you do. It’s a part of your overall holistic focus. At Hummingbird, we encourage leaders not to look at brand development as a separate marketing initiative, but rather part of the holistic business plan.
“Is it worth it?” you may ask. We say a resounding “YES!” When done well, branding impacts the EBITDA multiplier and the bottom line!