Roughly 35% of final decision-makers for marketing spending are Disengaged Doubters, and 78% of Disengaged Doubters are more likely to be in senior leadership or ownership roles in the organizations they represent.
This segment from our 2021 study isn’t generally familiar with branding development or interested in making it a priority…but they’re in a powerful position when it comes to branding their companies.
So, be aware, marketing leaders…It’s up to you to anticipate this issue and work to educate the decision-makers in your organizations.
Why? The attitudes of Disengaged Doubters impact the businesses they run and the decisions they make about marketing spend. That means it’s important for marketing leaders to know how to address the issue and encourage senior leaders to embrace brand development for the value it brings.
How Disengaged Doubters Impact Their Businesses
Hummingbird’s 2021 initiative found four key attitudes among Disengaged Doubters:
- They don’t feel certain they know all the elements of a strong brand.
- They don’t often think about branding.
- They believe branding is old-fashioned and not as important as it once was.
- They view branding efforts as mostly a waste of time.
How do these attitudes impact the businesses those leaders run? When branding efforts are effective, an organization establishes core messaging that’s shared widely…both internally among team members and externally in marketing communications.
When senior leaders believe brand development doesn’t matter, the core messaging never gets put in place. The teams are left to create their own messaging instead of “reading from a common script.” This results in a fragmented brand message.
Rather than hearing the same values from different team members, clients and potential clients get mixed messages about what the company stands for and how it prioritizes client needs. Leaders in the business community and other professionals in networking circles also hear confusing messaging, and that translates into difficulty understanding what your business is all about…which makes referrals harder to come by.
Compare the challenge of mixed messaging with this testimonial from one of our clients:
She was most happy with the fact that she could take the message in the tagline and use it over and over again…when talking one-on-one with potential clients, when sharing in networking groups, and when giving presentations about the services her company offers.
As long as she spoke directly to that message, she felt she was delivering the same sales pitch every time. And she saw great returns as a result.
A really great brand message does that. It does the talking for the team and keeps everyone on the same page. Years can be wasted rewriting a new brand message with every proposal, brochure, webpage, and other marketing collateral.
But once companies define their strong differentiation and their messaging reflects that, everyone in the company can get on the same page with how to talk about it. The result can dramatically improve conversions.
How Companies Can Address This Issue
What if it’s your company that doesn’t have a strong brand message…and your team members that are creating their own messages and leaving your marketing far short of its goals?
In a previous post [LINK to Branding Strategy — How To Build Strong Brands for Maximum Business Value], we discussed how insight about your current customers gets you brand vocabulary, testimonials, and brand positioning.
And that’s the best place to start…with insight into your customers.
To get your team on the same page with a unified vocabulary and messaging spoken in the "Voice of the Customer (VOC),” everyone needs to take the first step… understanding that an insight process can lead to the cohesive VOC messaging your company needs.
Customer-centric VOC messaging helps prospects better connect to what the company really has to offer. And every insight project designed to get to the heart of the customer’s voice leads to a "common thread" from which an effective brand message can be woven.
Why Leaders Should Embrace Brand Development
You may be wondering why it’s so important to embrace these processes, and more importantly, to embrace brand development as a whole.
1. Brand development increases profitability.
The importance of brand development cannot be overstated when it comes to the profitability of a business. Effective branding is the cornerstone for a successful business.
Take Coca-Cola for example. The company’s brand is one of the most valuable in the world and shows how a strong brand can increase profitability.
“In 2021, Coca-Cola’s brand was valued at 87.6 billion U.S. dollars. It all started in 1886 when John S. Pemberton’s drink was first served at a soda fountain in Atlanta, Georgia, in the United States. Today, more than a hundred years later, Coca-Cola is one of the most powerful brands in the world.”
From 2004 through 2020, Coca-Cola remained the leading carbonated soft drink (CSD) company in the US, commanding nearly 45% of the market share at the end of that time period.
And that’s just one example of how Investing in brand development increases profitability.
2. It also increases productivity.
Doing the upfront work of brand development also increases a company’s overall
“Having a reputable employer brand is a must for an organization’s strategy because it helps companies recruit better candidates, reduce hiring and marketing costs, and improve productivity.”
It improves productivity by encouraging company-wide unity and putting the building blocks in place for effective messaging that’s long lasting and that will attract loyal employees and customers.
3. Brand development saves time.
It may sound counterintuitive to say that developing a strong brand identity saves time…especially since it takes time to do the work of brand development.
But when a company takes the time early on to lay a strong brand foundation, it sets itself up for a lifetime of effective messaging.
In other words, when your company invests in the development of your brand from the start, the core messaging doesn’t have to be revamped over and over again… which will save you valuable time in the end.
The strong brand identity creates a coherent brand that your team and customers recognize, incorporate into communications, and share with others time and again.
At the end of the day, if you invest in brand development, marketing will be more streamlined and less expensive to produce because there will be a clearer path for your team.