Recent conversations with clients with whom we have been working for a number of years. Companies were and are looking to develop a brand within the B2B arena, The discussions got me thinking about the process of launching a brand, in world focused on the short term.
In summary, my thoughts were as follows:
- Brand marketing, once the domain of big corporates is now, thanks to the digital revolution, open to all businesses
- Launching a brand needs a clear understanding of what you offer, and how this benefits the marketplace
- And this is the Biggie! – To do it properly takes time & planning.
Brand Marketing Open to All
In the days before the digital revolution, building a brand was expensive, because communication tools were expensive. But now this is no longer the case. With the introduction of the web, the marketing communication costs have plummeted:
- Email Marketing
- Social Media
- Video production
- Global Targeted Advertising
Are now limited less by having the financial resources to access the tools than by having the creativity & ideas to use them effectively.
Marketing is More than Communication
Many people take the view that Marketing = Marketing communication. But in reality, when thinking about Brand Marketing, this is far from the truth.
A good brand starts with a clear understanding of the value that it offers to the marketplace, and how this value to be perceived. This element of developing a brand is in reality more tricky to master than the marketing communication process, and is something that is all too often skipped when marketing a business.
This recent post – What is a brand – Goes into the subject in more detail.
Building a brand takes time
I said at the beginning of this post that brand marketing is nolonger exclusively the domain of those with big budgets. There is however a caviat to this. It assumes you are not trying to do it quickly. Building a brand quickly still requires big budgets, I am writing tis post from the context of SME marketing where big budgets are normally not available, and in these circumstances an alternative resource is required – TIME.
In both the cases I mentioned at the start of this post, the process of building the brand has been going on in a sustained manner over years, and whilst the compainies have remained sound over this time, it is only now that the real growth that a strong brand can deliver is coming to reality.
The Bottom Line
We regularly state our view that marketing is a process not an event, and this is never truer when the marketing objective is to build a brand.
Strong brands are created by having a clear understanding of the value a business offers to the marketplace, and a sustained process for communicating this value. It is this combination, that given time will deliver the real value of a brand.