Why Brand Marketing

Lead generation marketer’s ability to show short-term sales impact has coincided with a corresponding period with a strong focus on growth. This is especially salient when you consider the significant increase in lead generation as a percentage of marketing spend at a cost to brand marketing over the past two decades.

Yet research from the Institute of Practitioners in Advertising (IPA) on marketing effectiveness shows that while demand generation delivers faster results, it is less effective over time. Brand marketing takes longer but provides better returns long-term. The best results are when brand marketing and demand generation work together.

Gone are the days when B2B executives believed a logo, font and snappy strapline was all they needed to build a brand. To cut through the noise, make an impact in the market and attract attention is all down to your brand. And how your brand performs is all about understanding your customers.

The most significant factor in the modern marketing landscape is change – everything changes – all of the time. It would help if you created a brand that will not only make a mark and have a real impact, but one that will stick – that will work for you through all the changes in the market, evolving customers' needs, and the ongoing development of your product or service offers.

A well-researched, well-thought-through brand identity that fits your business like a glove and is resilient enough to adapt to changing situations is the key to creating steady growth. If you live and breathe it, it will bring a consistent and coherent approach that will grow your business.

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Mapping your brand strategy to sales and marketing goals

Brand & Growth Goals

When you build a brand, your brand strategy should be part of a hierarchy with the business strategy at the top – its goals and aims are delivered by the sales and marketing strategy – whose goals, in turn, are provided by the brand strategy.

Sales, marketing and the brand should work together at all times to deliver the results – this means that the way that Sales and Marketing interact with the prospect at every stage of the buyer's journey needs consideration when developing the brand.

Measurement and feedback need to be built in at every stage of your brand management process so you can work with an agile strategy that responds to an ever-changing environment and customer demands. This capability for iteration and refinement will allow you not only to cope with change but to make the most of fleeting opportunities.

Probably the most crucial element of brand development is brand positioning – how you want to position yourself in the market in the eyes of your customers and prospects.

Your market, your offering and your business strategy will determine the limits of the market landscape within which you can place your brand – but here are some general, and simplified examples of brand positioning statements about what might make your offering different:

  • The cheapest
  • The most expensive
  • The best quality
  • The easiest to use
  • The most featured
  • The most efficient
  • The greenest

The goal of brand positioning is to ensure that your customer's perception of what you stand for, matches the brand perception you are aiming for. You can use market research to determine the nature and amount of any positioning gap.

Every brand has a value – whether that value is high or low, or even harmful. It is your brand equity and comprises the mix of customer perception, experience, and opinion about your brand. Brand equity can have a direct impact on your reputation and sales. Again, good market research can give you an idea of your brand's equity with the market as well as eliciting direct feedback from prospects and customers.

A low value for brand equity or a mismatch in brand perception should be addressed as part of your brand management process.