24 November 2014
Exceptional brands attract customers, staff and investors. Ensuring the brand is the DNA for all decision-making is what really drives market-changing businesses.
Most B2B businesses are slow to realise that creating a distinctive and meaningful brand is the magic ingredient that creates sustainable competitive advantage. No matter if you define your business as B2C, B2B – in the end it’s all P2P (people to people).
Putting the brand at the heart of business takes big vision, ambition and a large slice of courage. You need to stand for something above and beyond transactional relationships. You need to ensure that everyone in your company understands the role they play in delivering your promise to customers. Brand means far more than visual cohesion and integrated communications.
For a brand-focussed company, high-end products and services are not merely presented appealingly, they are created precisely to ‘prove the promise’ to the customer. In this sense, brand strategy is the means of executing the business strategy. It’s a way of translating strategy into a tangible, meaningful experience. In other words, putting what we talk about into real action and measurable performance.
Brand is the benchmark and inspiration that should guide and inspire all organisational, new business development, talent attraction and retention, innovation, new product development, and performance development plans. Cut-through to product and service innovation.
For many high-end B2B businesses, brand is still felt to be outside of the organisation: the image, the presentation and the ‘spin’. This is a missed opportunity. Companies that put the brand at the heart of the business, outperform their rivals – because they connect better with customers and staff, they do things better and more efficiently, and they do things differently. There’s really no good reason not to use brand as the business DNA – for influencing strategic decisions, for energising product and services teams, for inspiring the workforce’s ambitions, and for creating a culture that everyone believes in and with which customers want to fully engage.
Whether you’re a start-up, an SME, or a global company, building brand into the very fabric of your business and using it to drive strategic, organisational and operational decisions will transform your good business into a great business.