After reading my previous posts, you’re almost on your way to productively and energetically leveraging your brand’s perception to drive company growth and profitability. Our previous topics of focus covered the specific impact that brand perception can have on the bottom line, the need for clear positioning as the foundation for communicating about your company, and some keys to arming others with that positioning so they can get your story into the market.
Now, I’ll review the most important tips on what it takes to get your positioning to stick – to successfully change brand perception to accelerate growth and profitability.
Changing what people think of your brand is not complicated, but it’s not easy either. It requires a certain level of rigor and discipline by the company and management team to be successful. As I’ve discussed earlier, the rewards can be well worth the effort.
In a perfect world you can simply advertise everywhere, all the time to get your brand messaging into the market. Obviously most small to mid-sized businesses don’t have the resources to do this, so a smarter approach is required.
Since you’ve gone through the hard work of defining your company brand, positioning and messaging, make sure that you leverage it is effectively as possible:
Don’t underestimate the effort (and potential cost) required to replace any old messaging. Strive to do it in a timely manner, but you will likely need to phase things into high priority and lower priority items.
This is especially true in somewhat decentralized companies or where managers are given a high level of autonomy.
As the saying goes, “If you don’t measure it, you can’t improve it”. This holds true for brand perception. Larger companies will often invest in annual brand awareness and perception benchmarking research. Since this is too expensive for most small to mid-sized businesses, there are other creative ways to monitor your brand perception.
By measuring the impact on your efforts, you can adjust accordingly. You may need to gather further market insights to make small changes to your positioning approach. At a minimum, you should review annually to see if any major adjustments are required.
Of course, the ultimate measure of success is the impact on growth and profitability. It’s a good idea to baseline the following measures and track improvement over time as you implement various brand improvement strategies:
Even though your customer has more choices in your market than ever, the right positioning strategy will help you differentiate your products and services from the competition, build trust among your base, and increase the chances that those outside your executive team will talk about your brand favorably. Without communicating your authentic brand identity, your target audience will never become interested in why doing business with you will matter to their success and vision.
Refer to the process I’ve outlined in this series of posts for changing your brand’s perception at any time, adjusting your current strategy as necessary. With a commitment to your message, delivery, and consistency, you’ll positively impact your business growth over the short and long-term while accelerating your organization’s profitability.