When you’re running a business, the key to success is getting the best outcome for the least outlay of resources. Whether that’s getting the most productivity from the smallest staff size, achieving a big publicity boost with a small marketing spend, or putting together a robust product while saving on materials, the key is maximising the results while minimising cost.
To do that effectively, you need to understand just what resources you have to hand: if you know the skills your team has at their command you might be able to avoid costly consultants, for example. And if you want to make your marketing work for you, you need to understand your brand’s strengths, and play to them, rather than spend more and more money bending it into shape.
Understanding your brand can be difficult. If you’ve had a hand in shaping it from the beginning, you’re very close to it, and it can be hard to take a step back and see what you’ve built from the perspective of a consumer. Separating your hopes and intentions for a brand from the realities of the brand you’ve created is a tough task, and you might need some independent help to accomplish it. A brand is made up of more than ‘branding’ – design and advertising are how you try to create a brand the effect is felt inside consumer’s heads: a brand is what they feel about a business. Assessing the strengths of the brand you’ve created requires canvassing those same consumers.
A market research firm can deploy a brand tracker to find out just what the market makes of your brand, why and how they rate it compared with your competitors. This lets you start to understand the brand you’ve built, and how you can best put it to work – if customers understand your proposition as offering value for money, as a budget-conscious way to save money on an essential for life, then you can achieve better results from your marketing by emphasising this aspect of your brand. Making any kind of impact by trying to reposition yourself as a luxury product would require a much larger investment before a campaign could be expected to gain any traction, and would undermine your existing loyal market before it even started to create equal or greater revenue.
Playing to the strengths you’ve built for your brand will lead you towards greater success in the future, while failing to see them can only lead to costly mistakes, so now is always the right time to try and understand your brand better.