Following any sort of marketing group demonstrates that marketing – to misquote Jeremy Clarkson – means many things. Many different things to many different people and businesses.
What does marketing mean? Really?
There are those who advocate that analysis is where we should start; that marketing still owns the seven (five, nine, eleven) Ps; that marketing has purely become promotion and surrendered any responsibility it ever had for product development or process control or that it sits somewhere in between with a focus on design, social media and advertising….
The development of brand
The development of brand does seem to belong to marketing though but even here there are different views on what brand is and how important it is to your business. Design and communication sit within marketing surely so therefore any brand re-design is fundamental to marketing. Yes?
Is your logo just your logo, or has it become your brand? What might be the reasons to consider a re-brand? And is a re-brand merely a design update or should it be something more?
I come from the school of marketing that places it firmly at the centre of any business. The reason for this is simple. Without customers there is no business and marketing, last time I looked, is still about communicating with customers in some way, shape or form.
The management of the product or service, how it develops over time; its cost and pricing and consequent position in the marketplace; the people that deliver the brand and the proof that can be brought to bear to show your business means business and will deliver; the availability of your product and service and finally the way you communicate as a business all sit with marketing to a greater or lesser degree and sitting at the pinnacle of it all is your logo, or your brand. They are not the same thing.
Logos as shorthand
Logos are shorthand. They are there to stay front and centre of your psyche without the detail hassle. You already have built in brand perceptions. Canon or Nikon, Nike or Reebok, Ford or Chevrolet. The same is true in b2b markets. Those suppliers that you buy from because of the performance of their people, their product, their service back-up, their easy availability or effective communication. These suppliers have short circuited the buying process and created a brand, far beyond a logo.
Brand as so much more…
The brand encapsulates all that your business stands for, the behaviours your staff will adopt, the performance you can expect from the product or their service, your ability to deliver against timescales and to continue to create more proof on why you will continue to work with them almost regardless of price. This is the power of brand.
The power of brand will allow you to enter new markets with an instant understanding of what you will bring to that market; it will allow shorter buying cycles and much less comparison; it will deliver stronger and more effective relationships and ultimately move customers from prospects to advocates in short order.
Re-brand…it can mean so much more
Which brings us back neatly to re-brand. Given all of the above surely a re-brand has to be about more than a change of design? Is it not the shorthand indicator of significant change within a business? Is it not the simplest way to communicate that the business you used to know is moving on, has moved on. As a customer, client or partner you are still important but maybe in a slightly different way, maybe they are looking for something more from you or maybe they can add more to your business and have moved from selling to solving your problems…some of which you may not even recognise.
Let’s Talk – and discover how far your brand can take you.
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