Branding is more a part of successful marketing today than ever before. Everywhere you look, there are marketing experts telling you that in order to succeed, you simply must create a recognizable brand. They’re not wrong either. Think of Nestle, Coca-Cola, and Canada Goose and other household names you know. They all got there by creating a brand that people love. Most companies realize the value of branding, but they might not be sure how to go about creating a strong brand. In fact, many companies we talk to have a list of corporate branding challenges that are surprisingly similar across all industries and company sizes:
Corporate Brand Valuation
At some point, even though it is intangible, a corporate brand becomes an asset, and has a monetary value. When this happens your brand becomes a valuable commodity, just like property, equipment or inventory. Three of the more common corporate branding challenges is how to reach that point, how to know when you have, and how to attribute value.
Brand Communications Coherence
When developing a corporate brand, it’s important that your corporate communications have a uniform style and tone. The question is, how do you develop the right tone for your target market, and what can you do to ensure it is carried across all communications?
Measuring and Metrics
Sending your marketing message out into the world and not measuring its success can be an expensive and ineffective way to market your brand. The question for many of our customers is which metrics to measure, and how?
Big companies spend millions on customer experience. Think of IKEA and their warehouse experience, Scandinavian esthetic and calling their staff members “co-workers”, or the chilly whiteness and tangible cool of the Apple Store? Many small businesses struggle to develop a cohesive brand identity, and that can muddle the customer experience too.
Perhaps the biggest of the small to mid-sized company corporate branding challenges is sustainability. Many companies struggle to create a plan that allows them to maintain their branding and marketing efforts long term.
The Role of Digital Marketing
In a small to mid-sized business arena, digital marketing has, fortunately, created several solutions to these and other corporate branding challenges. Content marketing (and often, outsourcing to a content specialist) can help to solve some of the style and tone issues businesses face.
Digital tools like Google Analytics, Search Console and Alexa.com can all give you facts and figures about how many people you are reaching, and how responsive they are. Social media gives brands immediate feedback (although that can also be a double edged sword when you make a marketing mistake!)
Even consistency is easier when you use digital marketing as a part of your corporate branding toolbox, because you have the ability to schedule posts and automate many of the processes involved.
While digital marketing may not solve all of the challenges related to branding for smaller and mid-sized companies, it’s certainly a great suite of tools to start with, and it can definitely help us to compete in a noisy world, full of bigger brands and bigger marketing budgets.
If you are struggling with branding, tell us about it. Share your branding challenges and thoughts here.