As I’ve written before, “Brand” and “Branding” are words tossed around in a variety of ways. For small and mid-market companies, the vast majority of what’s thrown around about branding is crap.
I’d like to highlight the portion that isn’t. To begin that journey, I ask: Do you really understand what your brand is, and the power behind it?
I’m always looking for new ways to help owners and executives of growing SME’s understand that, and recently I came across a branding study designed to guage the power of a brand. I’m a big fan of Marty Neumeier, and since his firm was behind the study, I looked at it closely.
The Brand Impact Study highlights four important attributes to determine a brands power. These four attributes are valuable for any executive looking to expand sales, margins or both. They are:
- Do the right people know who you are?
- Do they have a positive, meaningful impression of your business?
- Do they consider your business relevant?
- Do your prospects position you as a problem solver, or merely a solutions provider?
- Do they view you as someone to engage with while they’re figuring things out, or after they’re ready to issue an RFP?
- Does your target audience understand your value proposition?
- Do they acknowledge, understand and value the difference your bring to the market?
- Do your prospects understand your impact?
- Do they understand, and can they articulate the consequence/cost of not doing business with you?
Strength in these four areas – with the right prospects/customers – is the definition of a powerful brand (even if most people don’t know who you are). Keeping these four components at the top of your mind when developing your marketing and brand strategy will go a long way to accelerating your growth and protecting your margins.