“Taking time to do a comprehensive brand audit isn’t just a good idea, it is essential to the future”.
Nat West CMO Margaret Jobling
It is refreshing to hear this sort of advice given at the Festival of Marketing, as businesses and brands should always refresh their approach especially at a time when customer attitudes across all business sectors are changing so quickly. The tendency is always to focus on the here and now, fight the fires you have. However, putting off the important but urgent assessment of your businesses and brands strategic health, is just putting your head in the sand and storing up bigger problems for the future.
To be successful in any market you need to ensure your product or service is constantly considered, that you are top of mind with your customers and that you are seen as relevant to them. Obviously, you cannot stop the world and get off while you simply reassess things. The business juggernaut must plough on ahead and you must fight the good fight. But that doesn’t mean that you cannot take time to assess your position, review your value proposition (the thing that you promise to deliver better than anyone else) review your marketing approach, the messaging, the tools, channels and deployment of your strategy. All businesses need to review, diagnose the changes they need to make in order to reset, go again and effectively boost performance.
A root and branch relook means that you need to select a suitable time frame which ideally should be a minimum of 5 years 10 ideally as you don’t just want to get locked into short term thinking. Don’t just make it a surface review, strip everything back and understand:
What does your brand/ business stand for?
What is the experience that you deliver for your customers?
What is the unbreakable promise you make to you customers?
What is the real opportunity for your business and what gives you the right to play there?
What are the insights that support it?
What are the functional and emotional benefits of what you do?
What are the burdens of proof?
What does success look like?
How do you fit into your customers worlds?
What are their needs and how have they evolved?
What does best in class look like today and what will it look like tomorrow?
To understand what your brand and business means in the current environment, you need to define what is important, how you are going to deliver it through your marketing. What are you going to continue, stop doing and start doing? How are you going to measure and track its success? What are you going to do to test and learn so you can develop agile and focused responses to market change?
It’s not about selling stuff anymore, it’s about true engagement and winning the fight for relevance.
Simon Preece Founder of consultancy Bigger & Better Things, and Co-founder of SenseCheck