Blog post on Personal and Company Branding and PR Photography.
Every time you have a cold, you perhaps reach for the right medication from your cabinet or decide to visit a doctor. Sometimes, brands plateau, stutter a little and hit a sharp downward decline. This results in loss of sales as the brand loses its appeal.
Just like humans, brands can either be healthy or unhealthy. That means a brand audit health check is an indispensable tool as it helps you closely monitor and manage your brand’s overall state of health. This will result in ongoing performance and increased profitability.
In addition to making sure you have the right PR portrait photographer for great pictures associated with you and your brand, you need to analyse how your brand is performing.
Symptoms of a brand that is declining in health can be a warning sign offering you an opportunity to fix an upcoming issue long before it becomes too challenging, worse, or even fatal.
Here are vital signs to help assess whether your specific brand is in perfect health and what you can do to correct the situation.
1. Is your company steadily growing, declining or losing its relevance?
A business with a strong brand strategy that is supported by consistent execution will always experience healthy growth, assuming that the actual service or product is on the money. In a highly competitive marketplace, the overall benefits of a carefully developed brand strategy shine bright as it offers you company operations clarity, clear focus, and a competitive edge.
The appeal of your brand to its specific target market and the right communications which support that probability will enable your brand to perform better such that it can help you generate better sales now and even in the future.
Unfortunately, for most businesses, this rose-hued image feels far away from reality. One of the common reasons for this shortfall is the fact that the brand strategy isn’t entirely developed to offer firm support and provide the right direction required in the company.
Always remember that your brand strategy is the bedrock underpinning your entire company. The reality is that branding isn’t the design or marketing concept. It is something bigger that offers the overall direction for marketing and design. This is the primary reason it is essential to clearly map out your brand strategy in finer details if you intend to create a highly successful and profitable brand.
Marketing, branding, and design are the three major disciplines that perform different functions within the same business. Each of these elements is important, and all are interlinked. However, if one of these critical factors is missing, it is like having a three-legged stool with one leg missing. That means the stability of your entire business will be compromised.
2. Is your marketplace becoming more crowded?
You must have heard the theory about the performance of a business for a sustained period and then gradually plateaus. Sometimes, the business might go in reverse or in a downward spiral. Generally, if your specific brand positioning is strong enough, your services or products are excellent, and you have implemented an attractive pricing strategy, the chances are that your business isn’t performing because the environment has changed.
Probably more and more brands have joined the market. In some instances, it could be that some competitors have rebranded in a unique way such that it increases its overall appeal to a significant fraction of your current client base. Having a strong brand will help you command a premium price. This is the primary reason luxury brands tend to sell for higher price points as compared to own-label house-brand goods or unbranded goods of the same quality.
A healthy brand, according to professionals, will help you to create a highly recognised presence in the market and build an active community or fan base of loyal customers, whether online or offline. It will also help you create and maintain strong relationships with your suppliers and other relevant stakeholders.
3. Have you changed your business strategy or model?
As much as it is common to talk about a weak and a strong brand, some context is necessary. Have you ever realised that a certain brand may be strong in specific areas, but when it tries to target a new audience, raise the price, or even launch new services and products it might struggle to maintain its relevance to the target audience?
This is a warning sign that the brand extendibility or stretch isn’t working as expected. This could be because an intensive brand audit wasn’t performed to carefully evaluate the overall market, target customers, the brand strategy and its expandability.
If your brand is failing in some of the areas mentioned above, it is worth considering an intensive brand audit and health check to identify and address all possible vulnerabilities.
Use Brand Values to Drive Client Trust and Commitment
Roy Disney once said that it is not hard to make decisions when you understand what your values are. This highlights the essential function of brand values that many business owners tend to forget.
Once business owners start thinking about their exact brand values, sometimes they do it reluctantly and under immense pressure from consultant, competitors, and marketing directors. In such a situation, it is very hard for them to realise that specific brand values are not a superficial marketing term. They are key to the success of a company.
One of the key things you should know is that the overall business community turned its attention and focus on brand values almost two decades ago. It is around this time when Steve Jobs recognised the power of strong values in driving brand loyalty and awareness.
In his famous speech that marked his return to Apple, he drew a parallel between the brand values and the company’s mission. In addition to emphasising the meaning of brand values to clients, Steve Jobs shared two key questions he began with to bring his company to its real roots. These questions were ‘Who is Apple?’ and ‘What does Apple stand for?’
Of course, Jobs recognised the fact that outstanding brand values can successfully drive the decision-making process and at the same time earn client trust. And it is this third part of speech that is often ignored. Consequently, company owners and entrepreneurs came up with brand values for the sake of competitors and clients, but not for the sake of the specific brand. The reality is, brands created this way simply end up being unable to drive a substantial change in the overall organisational culture and meaningless in the mind of stakeholders.
While it is challenging to come up with brand values that mean something to your target audience, it is crucial that you create these brand values and use them to drive customer trust and commitment.
Brand values in the frame of your brand identity
It is essential to remember that brand values are an integral part of your brand identity. In addition to getting a professional PR photographer to create outstanding photographs for your brand identity, you should understand that the overall concept of brand identity revolves around the brand mission, story, positioning, voice, values, purpose, overall look and feel.
Actually, your brand values along with its purpose tend to shape the internal world of your brand while its story, positioning, and mission define how the entire brand relates to the world.
You should not expect your brand values alone to bring your company success. Note that brand values are an integral part of a very complicated equation that is a sum of many individual parts.
Research reveals that customers think of different brands in varying dimensions including adherence to social norms, functional benefits, and the ability to create an emotional connection. Creating a critically thought out brand identity, when each piece brings enhances the depth, and better colour to the picture is a must-do for all business owners.
Understand the specific types of brand values
Generally, brand values are often referred to as core values. Surprisingly, only a few individuals understand that these core values are not only the type of brand values that exist. Comprehending the difference between different types of value can help you avoid the instances of picking trivial values, and that means you can focus on refining your brand’s core values only.
Core values are simply the specific principles that lie at the epicentre of your brand’s personality. These are the inherent values that you cannot afford to compromise. Indeed, these values are the most significant source of your business’s uniqueness. Brand’s core values ensure respect and admiration from your target audience and create a deep connection with this audience.
Aspirational values, on the other hand, are those that your business is striving to achieve. These values tend to be future-oriented that your brand might lack at the moment but need to manifest to complete the set objectives. Often, these values are put in place whenever a company is changing its current strategy or expanding to the new market.
The key to using your brand values to attain customer trust and commitment is by ensuring consistency in everything you are doing. You should never compromise your core values no matter what. Note that consistency, in this case, means choosing a specific course of action over the other and sometimes it could be a more difficult path. It is also about sticking to your core values even if these values go against someone’s expectations.
According to experts, consistency is also weaving your particular brand values into all branding and marketing assets, client interaction, and message. Lack of consistency will bring distrust and probably degrade the current relationships your brand has with its audience.