Archive for May, 2015

Why branding matters

Brand stock image

Many small business owners think of larger organisations when they think of branding, so they may not even see their business as a brand.

If you have a business, you have a brand. It’s certainly more than just a fancy logo.

A good way to identify your brand is to consider what kind of impression you give clients or customers. For instance, how do you talk, relate and position yourself to your customers?  Getting it right can help make your business whilst getting it wrong can break it.

How can a small business get it right without breaking the bank?  Step back from your daily demands and understand what your customers really want.  Deliver it consistently at every touch point – from your logo and website to answering the phone.

It’s about developing a brand personality that your customers can relate to, one that demonstrates you understand their needs. As a result, they’ll come back for more.

So if you’re starting up a business – or you want to grow – don’t rush off and spend valuable time and money developing marketing materials. First, think carefully about what impression you want to make and how you can present your business in its best light.

Ask yourself:

  • How can I stand out from my competitors?
  • How can I demonstrate that I understand my customers’ needs?
  • What gives my business credibility?

Use the answers to these questions to select words that define the personality of your brand.  Write a list of every touch point you have with customers. Then think about how to really make your brand personality come through at each point to maximise engagement.

For more on how your brand can make the right impression, contact the team at MAY on 01858 414247.

 

 

Marketing strategy: why you should make sure your business has one

Get ahead and ensure you have a competitive advantage with your marketing strategy.

Get ahead and ensure you have a competitive advantage with your marketing strategy.

Every business should have an up-to-date marketing strategy. But for many, large and small, this is often not the case.  The most common reasons for this are not having the time to step back from the day job and not knowing where to start.

Finding the time to take a step back and develop a marketing strategy helps save time and reaps rewards. A strategy will:

  • Force you to think, align and stay focused on what the business wants to achieve long term
  • Offer you a competitive advantage – by being focused you will achieve more
  • Maximise your marketing budget

Where do you start? 

Think about where your business is now and where you would like to be.  Review your goals from different angles including your product and services mix, brand positioning, customer base, the competitive landscape and external environment.  Use information such as sales data, customer insights, competitor analysis and lessons learnt, to identify opportunities and challenges.  Then map out where you need to focus your marketing efforts to achieve this.

What makes a great marketing strategy?

  • Your outlook should be longer term, ideally 3-5 years
  • Successful strategies have buy-in from across the business
  • The best results come from ambitious but realistic objectives
  • It is essential that your strategy is integrated across all channels
  • Make sure it is manageable within the budget and resource available
  • Following its launch, ensure you are consistently implementing plans

It is important to acknowledge that effectively implementing a marketing strategy takes time and patience.  If you do the right work up-front to make sure it’s robust and you consistently implement it, you will see the results.

If you need help with your marketing strategy email: hello@wearemay.com or call 01858 414247.