As a Finance Tools Orchard, its very critical for you to understand developing brand strategy is extremely critical. The most important asset your company has is its brand. Quite simply, it drives the direction of your business. So you should definitely have a well thought out brand strategy in place.
Increasing competition in business develops similar products with good quality from different manufacturers. But only an effective, innovative and Brand Strategy & planning can make your business and products more popular.
For your profession as Finance Tools Orchard it becomes your responsibility to stay connected with like-minded supporting industry experts who can guide and help you deal with your day to day work issues.
e-Marketing Strategy: 7 Dimensions to Consider For Digital Growth
If you are entrepreneurial in nature owning a business is very exciting adventure. It can also be the most difficult thing for you to get into if you are not prepared.
What is a Brand? Put simply, it defines the identity of an organisation, product or service. It's more than just names and logos. The identity needs to be based on a unique idea and told through a compelling story. It needs to connect with potential customers and form positive emotional bonds. The idea needs to be distinctive from the competition and relevant to the target markets worldview. It also needs to be authentic, meaning that it's not enough to simply make empty claims. The organisation needs to actually live its brand.
Brands increase the value of products and services by differentiating them from the competition, creating positive mental associations and forming emotional relationships with the customer. Philip Kotler from the Kellogg School of Management famously said that "if you are not a brand, you are a commodity. Then price is everything and the low cost producer is the only winner."
Competing on price may increase short-term sales, but is a dangerous strategy for anyone serious about building a profitable, sustainable business. Brands provide businesses with the means to free themselves from constant price competition, increase the value of their services, reduce their marketing costs and develop long-term customer loyalty.
Building a successful, sustainable brand requires careful planning and consistency. It needs a strategy. Brand strategy is the plan that defines defines the ideas and stories behind the brands, the structure and relationship of the brands within the organisation and the core identifying elements. These can include elements such as company and product names, tone of voice, logo's, colour schemes etc. It also provides the framework for implementing the brands throughout the organisations operations and for using them to efficiently work towards the businesses goals. It's not just a cosmetic exercise; it's a key element of business strategy.
With a clear strategy in place, managers can make appropriate, co-ordinated, informed decisions not just in marketing, but in all departments from product development through to customer service and recruitment. This process of embodying the brand idea throughout the organisation is what we call branding.
The beauty of branding is that by telling your customers authentic, compelling stories, you not only make your goods more attractive and valuable, you give your customers something to talk about. Humans naturally love to tell and share stories. By giving them good stories to tell, you gain access to what is by far the cheapest and most effective form of promotion - word of mouth.
Few organisations manage to achieve the full benefits of word of mouth, and worse still, for many organisations it spreads more negative stories than positive. To compensate for a lack of positive word of mouth, organisations spend huge sums of money on ineffective marketing exercises. Without an effective brand strategy these exercises are often unfocussed, inconsistent and unauthentic. Consequently, they rarely pay for themselves, let alone make a profit.
So what is the role of marketing? To a large extent, branding is the antithesis of marketing. Branding is the most effective way of generating positive word of mouth, making it both cheaper and more effective than traditional marketing techniques.
Marketing without a clear brand strategy is a chaotic, costly exercise that in essence is little more than shouting and showing off about your products and services. People don't like or trust show-offs. If you want to make an impact, you need to talk to them like grown ups. With exposure to thousands of marketing messages every day, consumers have become largely immune to meaningless promotional messages, filtering them out and filing them in their mental recycle bins.
However, there is still a place for marketing and in many cases, marketing is part of the branding process as it provides a means by which to spread the brand story. This explains why there is so much confusion regarding the difference between them. Marketing used to be about the promotion of products and services. Successful marketing now focuses on the promotion of brands.
If an organisation developed a perfect brand idea but did nothing to promote it, then no one would ever have heard about it. The story would never spread and the strategy would be unsuccessful. It's therefore important to combine the strengths of both branding and marketing in order to reach your target market.
The most successful organisations combine a confident and forward thinking idea with a robust and organised strategy. They then use carefully targeted marketing to help get their story out. The success of their brands means that as time goes on, the need for formal marketing reduces and the effectiveness of any existing marketing increases, thus paving the way for increased profits and organisational growth.
In conclusion, brands are a key element of building profitable businesses with long-term sustainability. When executed well, they increase sales, add value to products and services and reduce marketing costs. They also give focus to a business, boost staff morale and increase share value.
Building successful brands is not simply a cosmetic exercise. They need to be consistent, true to the organisation and embodied throughout their activities. This is only possible when a clear brand strategy is in place to act as a framework for their implementation, and to ensure that they are always working towards the business goals. Marketing has its place as a tool for promoting brands, but once they have made a connection with the core of their target market, successful brands can sell themselves through word of mouth.
Brand Positioning And Digital Strategy
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Through business relationships and experience sharing in confidential settings for Finance Tools Orchard, we strive to create personal and business value for all our network peers.
Keeping a watchful eye on technical innovation is vital to develop a clear vision for the future of any business. But effective strategies for success depend on managers and executives avoiding hidden blind spots and investment decisions that obscure the way forward. Last year, according to World Economic Forum figures, private sector global spending on digitizing business operations exceeded $1.2 trillion dollars, yet just 5% of executives reported being satisfied with the results. In most industries the transition from analog to digital is one of the biggest challenges facing business leaders today. There are 8 common mistakes executives make.
Finding the best way: As with most human activity, planning is everything. The digitization process is a unique opportunity for executives to take a good hard look at their enterprise and ask some important questions:
What digital activities are already underway?
What will the industry look like in 5, 10 or 20 years?
What strategies can the company employ to succeed in a digital future?
What is the end goal of the transition from analog to digital?
Understanding where the business is attempting to go should help avoid some of the following bumps and wrong turns in the journey. Most of the common mistakes executives make with the digitization process relate to investment. Nearsighted investments focus too heavily on the short term, giving insufficient consideration to an organization’s long-term needs. While, farsighted investments focus on future needs with scant attention given to immediate development, which undermines current performance and impacts future goals.
Even when the current and future needs of a business are given equal consideration blind spots can occur, as parts of the business are overlooked by investment and turn into points of weakness that disrupt overall performance. Putting a coherent strategy in place directs funding to areas of the business most in need. As well as scheduling where and when to invest, this strategy prevents executives making “scattershot” small investments without an overall funding plan.
Mind your own business As each organization is unique, no two paths to a digital future are the same. The structure of a business can influence its digitization journey, with heavily centralized companies at risk of suffering from a rigid chain of imposing policy from on high. Similarly, command structures that encourage parts of the business to operate as independent units, or islands, can duplicate investments which also duplicate costs. Every six months the management should ask these questions:
How the digitization of work affects us all?
Why a futuristic digital healthcare system, might not be out of reach?
How can we build a workforce for our digital future?
Enabling change Aside from investment decisions, another common area where mistakes are made relates to the balance of resources and their application. A company’s data, technology, operating model and talent either work to enable digital progress or hinder it. Some companies focus too heavily on building up these enablers, without considering if additional staff, technology and data capacity add value to the business. Whereas, the digital transformation of other companies suffer from a lack of resources to accommodate spending on new business applications.
The new digital reality Image: WEF The pace of technological change is impacting the business and social worlds faster than ever before. A new digital reality is emerging where 85% of customer interaction will take place without humans and where 65% of today’s young will grow up and work in industries or jobs that don’t yet exist. Companies that successfully bridge the gap from analog to digital are in prime position to fully embrace the opportunities offered by a digital future.
Networking has always been considered a powerful tool for improving business prospects, advancing a career, and developing ideas. Other than some brief, structured events, networking has been mostly informal and inexpensive in comparison to cost they otherwise spend on different channels. But membership is growing in many formal, long-term networking groups, and so is the price tag.
Our groups are not groups for generating sales leads, nor are they places where individuals can drop-in to gain quick advice on an immediate challenge. Members also sign a confidentiality agreement and benefits from the guided mentoring to help each other.
These groups include an experienced facilitator and use a structured discussion method to ensure appropriate participation.