I recently attended a course on creating Brand Value. Like many business books and many speeches I’ve attended, there was very useful information…IF I were a public company…and IF I were about to sell.
Many of the companies we work with are private businesses. And most of the people we assist want help building the value of their brand so they can use it, not simply so they can sell it. So let’s consider how to use marketing to create brand value that can be tapped into by business owners today.
Looking bigger than you are can make you bigger than you are – One thing that many companies struggle with is growing into bigger shoes or simply growing up. Even people that can’t afford an agency can sit down and figure out how they could benefit from appearing to be a larger, more sophisticated organization. Appearing larger can garner the attention of larger suppliers, lenders, or channel partners who don’t typically work with smaller organizations.
Having a brand strategy to grow customers can grow customers – Many organizations start out in business because they have a great idea and a few people willing to take a chance on it. Once money starts showing up, some companies never consider “target customers” again. Marketing people can help you determine who stands to gain the most from your brand, whether that group is growing or shrinking, and help you refine your target or more aggressively satisfy the target group. Bigger customers today or more customers tomorrow are a wonderful payoff for targeting that may not require you to change anything about what you already do.
Being repeatedly bold can get you remembered by people who buy brands they remember – The best brands—from a specialized pulley that appeals to elite climbers to a hole in the wall pizza joint—got where they were because they were remembered when the person needed to buy their offering. To hold mind share of people that are 24/7, texting with one hand and telecommuting with the other is too much to ask…even for their MOTHER. Consider your place in the pecking order and try harder to get remembered. Learn when and where people that might buy your brand do their research, enlist opinions of trusted colleagues, consider their purchase, and decide to buy. If you can be those places BOLDLY with some regularity, you don’t have to pay for marketing by the pound or impressions by the thousands.
You may think these things are common sense, but I’m here to tell you they are marketing, too. Marketing and brand building aren’t always ethereal, touchy feely, cosmetic activities that require a loan to undertake.
If you find the right people that will look at your business objectively, study your customers and take time to understand the value you need to draw out of your business—your own brand is a far better place to look than your bank.