Archive for March, 2011

BRANDING – ASSESSMENT. First step in defining who you are!

Friday, March 11th, 2011

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The key to building a great Brand that drives new business reflects not “what you say it is.”  Rather, it is “what they say it is.”  They, being the marketplace.  You know.  Those people out there.  Your customers. Your prospects.

So how does a small organization go about finding the answers to “what they say it is”?

Big companies use a variety of marketing research techniques to answer a number of critical questions that will lead to a unique and precise Brand definition. For a smaller organization, there is less in-house expertise in understanding these values, as well as diminished budgets to support such activity.  But remember, consumers don’t think about size of company; they think about the value of the brand name and their reaction to it.

If you are such an organization, 25-100 employees, the cost of this kind of marketing research is probably out of your range.   However, a much simpler and reasonable consideration is having an experienced professional accomplish the task of “doing an internal Brand assessment.”

For Statton and Associates, the scenario goes something like this:

1.  A questionnaire is designed appropriate to the industry involved.  It covers many areas of the organization and will come to reflect the opinions of employees (regarding these areas.)

2.  A reliable cross-section of employees will be interviewed, taking about 30-45 minutes per employee depending on the extent and scope of their knowledge.  The interviews are kept confidential to provide a more open environment for collection of attitudinal information.

3.  After all of the designated interviewee sessions have taken place, a summary document is drawn which reveals a consensus of answers to each of the questions.  From this information a variety of conclusions can be drawn and translated into recommended action items.  These items first consider major internal issues and then focus on the parts of the organization that need to be discussed in order to develop a reasonable and believable definition for “Brand.”

4.  The entire process normally takes about 30 days.

This summary report is a major assist in setting guidelines for defining a brand and subsequent marketing and communications efforts.  The next blog “Branding a Web Site” may be helpful in understanding how this information directs the design and content of a site.

(Note: I often reference The Brand Gap, authored by Marty Neumeier.  If you want a focused, on-target, all-encompassing explanation of Branding, this is an excellent reference.  And a quick-read!)