The Dictionary of Branddefines brand as, ‘A person’s perception of a product, service, experience, or organisation.
When Proctor and Gamble bought Gillette for $57Billion in January 2005, making it one of the largest corporate acquisition deals in America, it created the world’s largest consumer-products enterprise. Besides being a successful shaving brand, the Gillette corporation owned well-known brands such as Oral-B, Pringles and Duracell, among other successful brands.
At the time of the sale, the estimated value of the tangible assets of Gillette made up 40% of the $57Billion purchase price.
60% of the price was in the brand value.
The problem with case studies about large successful brands is, many see the story as being reserved exclusively for, ‘large successful brands.’ When, in reality, every brand started out being a minnow once. Nike, Mercedes Benz and Virgin were all small start-ups when they started out, bootstrapping their way to chasing a dream. As part of that dream, and in a way to make it tangible, a brand is born.
Every business needs a brand that is recognisable and that distinguishes it from competitors. Even a ‘no name brand’ product, is branded. There are few folks that would argue against protecting your brand image and ensuring it is always seen in the best possible light. At the heart of a brand is the brand promise. The brand promise is what people feel when they come into contact with any element of your brand. When establishing a brand in the hearts and minds of your target audience, living up to your brand promise at every touchpoint, is an opportunity to strengthen the brands’ value in the mind of the client.
As an example, Disney’s brand promise is, ‘Creating happiness,’ the Starbucks promise is, ‘To inspire and nurture the human spirit – one person, one cup and one neighborhood at a time,’ while Kreepy Krauly’s is, ‘It’s not clean unless it is Kreepy Krauly clean.’ Establishing your company’s brand promise takes consistent effort, at every level throughout the organisation, getting your audience to feel inspired and captivated, and wanting to engage with the brand.
Strong brands make more money, it’s that simple.
A business becomes powerful by having a strong brand and consequently profits are dramatically increased.
A powerful brand is built looking at three key elements:
- What is our purpose? This forms part of internal branding where the company Mission, Vision, Values and Company Culture, all serve to inspire and motivate people to be brand evangelists on behalf of the company.
- External branding. This encompasses every area where the brand is visible to our external audience. Our company logo, signage, print and online presence, advertising, public relations, social media, emails and marketing collateral, are examples here.
- Customer experience. Creating a customer experience that delights and excites our community through our sales process, customer service and support.
Conducting a Brand Audit helps to identify any problem areas that could be hurting your brand image. You could conduct an independent audit of your brand, or check out the steps below to establish the health of your brand.
Here are the more important elements to consider.
- Define Vision, Mission and Values
- Who is our target market?
- What is our differentiator (Unique Selling Proposition)?
- What are our Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats?
- What is our Corporate Culture?
- Conduct a Competitor Analysis
- Logo trademarks, copyrights and registration
- Consistent use across all platforms
- The Corporate Identity is sacrosanct – No deviations. Ever.
- All printed material to be consistent and uniform in style
- Colours, language and tone all consistent with brand promise and Corporate ID
- Test search performance to be found online and SEO ranking for company name, products and services
- What is the aim of the website (e.g. ‘Get a Quote Now’ or ‘ Sign-up for our Newsletter’)?
- Are all our social media profiles up to date?
- Are we getting the brand awareness and engagement we need?
- Do our social media sites support our brand promise?
- Are our posts consistent with the brand and do they reflect our brand culture?
Once you have concluded your brand audit, you can decide whether your brand needs a facelift or to conduct a rebrand. All brands get old and staid with time. The process of going through a Brand Audit ensures your brand is always kept fresh and top-of-mind with your chosen audience.