I recently met with a commercial bank prospect who worked with another local branding firm to update his brand’s look and feel, sales and materials, and website. Upon completion, the branding firm gave him the materials, turned on the website, and said, “Thanks for the business. Let us know when you need some more help.” My prospect stopped and asked, “That’s it? What’s the next step? What do I do next and how do I utilize these to maximize my investment?” That’s not only a great question; it’s exactly the right question.
Branding isn’t just about logos and websites, which is the common theme we hear all the time, but it’s about branding and positioning your company to achieve tangible goals and objectives. It’s not just packaging a brand, but also the brand implementation and execution that drive those results. Very few branding firms integrate branding and results; thus why my prospect asked his branding firm, who he just spent a significant amount of money with, OK now what? He wanted more; having a new brand, sales materials, and a website wasn’t going to help a bunch of bankers. He wanted assistance with the implementation and execution to get the results they wanted.
The next question and the next step is what all business owners and executives want to know. What yields results and actually produces a tangible ROI for their branding and marketing investment? As I like to say at Brand Iron, “It’s not just about the creative,” it also includes difficult tasks: implementation, execution and accountability. The creative stuff is fun; the execution and driving revenue part is hard work, tedious, and time consuming. Results lay on a road less traveled, for those who dedicate themselves to hard work and execution!
I personally like a more integrated approach that doesn’t just address the creative aspects of a company’s brand. I love rolling up your sleeves and looking at how to generate leads, integrate marketing and sales efforts, address barriers to growth, and how to motivate everyone in the company to work towards the same goals and objectives. Let’s face it, I love results.
Years ago when I started Brand Iron, we developed our 7 step process to “Forge Brands and Drive Revenue,” mainly because I was tired of the typical creative customer churn. I wanted lasting relationships. It was going to take a different approach to branding and marketing; one that was difficult at times, one that also held the client responsible. It would be more of a partnering relationship that in combination, would get the desired results accomplished.
Results lie in the intersection of branding, marketing, sales and operations. Branding is a holistic endeavor, integrating all these efforts together in a simultaneous fashion. It’s executing while you’re working your brand, addressing the barriers to growth, increasing the size of your database, making sure service is up to par, and insuring your brand lives up to the brand promise.
The vast majority of companies and their executives aren’t just looking for branding that goes down a creative path. Over the last several years, marketing budgets were slashed and companies that spent money wanted a return on that investment. That thought process hasn’t changed today; companies and their executives want a tangible ROI on their branding and marketing investment and efforts, even with new available monies, they are watching their investments with more scrutiny.
The next question is exactly the right question. It’s time to get the results you desire out of your branding and marketing investment. Take an integrated approach that focuses on implementation, execution and follow-through. Then, touch enough targets enough times throughout the course of the year with a strong and compelling message. Finally, integrate that with sales efforts, and you will get the results you desire!