Taking on established companies is a huge challenge for new business. How do you become known? Damian Semple, Marketing Director for Calico, Hurstpierpoint, reveals some big brand secrets that will work for you.
Branding is more than logos
Your brand goes deeper than a logo. Branding is a set of associations held in mind by a potential customer. The culmination of lots of factors - design, advertising, displays, marketing and how you treat customers - will generate associations. Studies suggest that as much as 75% of purchase decisions are based on emotion. Branding can make your business perform better by harnessing these associations and emotions - that’s brand power!
Secret No. 1: Be clear about what your business stands for. Formulate a concise message with resonance, e.g. ‘Every Little Helps’, and project this across your marketing.
Head out of the sand
Products and services don’t sell themselves. You may have to spend as much as 20% of turnover during the early brand-building years. Ignoring marketing until it’s too late leads to panic spending. There’s nothing like a badly-managed Adwords campaign for wasting money! Be consistent, and work towards a set of goals.
Secret No. 2: Allocate a consistent percentage of your budget and don’t spend haphazardly.
Have a plan!
You need a fully-budgeted plan, outlining the costs of how you are going to achieve your marketing goals within a certain timeframe. Using a marketing agency can be beneficial as they’ll help help you understand the full range of marketing opportunities for your business as well as ways you can gain an advantage over competitors.
Secret No. 3: Think in reverse: consider the point of sale before the product or service.
Brand, not bland
It seems logical to emulate competitors - they’re doing OK, so why shouldn’t you? Most markets are saturated or close to, so the message you’ll give is that you’re a “me too” business, i.e. there’s no reason to choose you over competitors. Me too businesses can survive by competing on price… but that’s a race to the bottom.
Secret No. 4: Think of one unique aspect of your business and push that to the fore.
Don’t rush it
‘Every Little Helps’ was hugely successful. A great phrase, used everywhere. But once you have a reputation for, say, value, it’s hard to switch to another, like quality. A change can affect your reputation and future sales as well as being costly to integrate across your marketing.
Secret No.5: Every big brand uses focus groups. Speak to potential customers before you commit to a message.