Not all businesses need great branding and for some, the lengths we go to making sure our clients’ businesses look right, to increase their sales, margins and profit, are just not warranted …
Just as you should position your business in your chosen marketplace, we should too. And so we totally accept that great design and powerful branding isn’t what everybody wants.
“It might help to clarify what ‘positioning’ means and why it’s important to your business!”
Possibly the easiest way to explain is using the old phrase, “Jack of all trades, master of none“. In theory, many businesses could supply anyone with the products or services they provide and, of course, if a customer comes along and chooses to buy – and they have the resources to pay the price you charge – that’s absolutely fine.
But the risk is, if you promote to everyone, you can be viewed as a generalist rather than as an expert in your field. Or worse still, by reaching the wrong audience you could ruin your reputation.
An example might help: We all need to eat and many of us like to eat out on occasions, but we all choose to eat different things in different places. To some, a great eating experience is a Big Mac, whilst others choose, say, one of Jamie Oliver’s restaurants. You will get fed at both places, but many McDonalds fans would consider Jamie’s food a rip off and many of Jamie’s customers wouldn’t be seen dead eating at McDonalds.
Neither is wrong, as far as positioning goes. It’s our tastes, values and perceptions that determine where each of us would choose to eat. But it’s unlikely you’re going to convert the respective customers of each business to believe the other is the better option.
Now, its fair to say McDonalds is a far larger business and has a far larger customer base, many of whom are choosing by the price they pay. In reality, for those of us running our small and medium enterprises, a far more successful business model is to know who our ideal customers are, those who will appreciate the value we deliver, so they will pay the prices we charge.
Ironically, both McDonalds and Jamie Oliver take their respective brands very seriously, ensuring they connect and engage with their audiences with consistency and using totally appropriate design ideas to find new ways of delivering their own unique messages.
“So with your positioning decided, it’s then a case of deciding the importance of your branding!”
You might be presented with lots of opportunities to quote to new customers, so you feel getting the design and consistency of your brand isn’t important. It could be you’ve worked out that for every ten quotes you submit, you’ll win three jobs and you’re happy with that situation. It could be you’re simply responding to a phone call asking “how much to do X” But what if you go to visit each prospective customer and you spend time with them so you really understand what they want and then you return to your office to compile a proposal which you email or post to them?
How much is that process costing you and how much of your knowledge and experience are you giving away? If you’re happy with that, then maybe building a powerful brand might be a waste of your time and money?
If your business model is to be the cheapest, whilst using design to strongly promote that message could be helpful, in reality, all that your customers are really going to care about is that you are the cheapest. It’s unlikely that getting your branding spot on is going to matter that much; look at Poundland, 99p Stores and Everything a £1.
“So if business is great for you already, the chances are your branding is either right, or it doesn’t matter!”
But if your business isn’t performing how you really want it to, it could be worth considering how establishing a distinctive and powerful brand can increase your sales, margins and profit.
If you want to find out more, ping me an email (firstname.lastname@example.org) or give me a ring on 07583 047103. I’m off for something to eat; can you guess where?