Want to Build Brand Equity? Hire a Branding Strategist Who Knows How to Build Relationships!
I build dynamic brand strategies for companies large and small.
The areas I have the most experience in are: organizations, people, and products. My added value comes from knowing how to identify the motivations and drives to buy, which I learned from being a senior researcher and Account Manager for Censydiam (now IPSOS). I run into people everyday who have spent money on digital marketing, SEO, design and advertising before they have any real idea what their company stands for and how to speak to their customers.
For most businesses, a total marketing budget runs somewhere between five and twelve percent of revenue. B2C driven companies generally spend more on marketing compared to B2Bs. Smaller companies spend a disproportionate amount on marketing compared to their larger brethren--and this can become a problem quickly. The challenge isn't with engaging in marketing plans, it is with not having a strong brand strategy before money is spent. Most companies' pain points stem from lack of understanding what branding is and/or hiring marketing and design services too early which results in wasted money and bad feelings.
Since branding is the buying public’s interpretation and visual link to a business, branding must make sense and be relevant. If the company does not have an experienced brand strategist to conduct exhaustive research before developing a high level strategy website, design, or concept, they’re not helping; they are wasting time, money, and lost leads. Companies without a dynamic brand strategy almost always sacrifice consistency to save money, fail to follow-through, and continue making the same mistakes over and over eroding what little brand equity they managed to build.
Hiring a brand strategist is not hiring a designer. A strategist brings out the drives and motivations for buying a brand so a relationship can be built. It is someone who knows how to cultivate consumer insights and is a “spend now to save later” proposition for companies. Budgets are always limited so taking the time to strategize and match a business’s marketing, communications and advertising plans with an accurate strategy will save from twenty-five to fifty percent of the marketing budget. This blueprint also yields better leads and helps close sales calls. A Brand Identity Designer turns the strategy into a visual wonder. I constantly see people advertising themselves as Brand Strategists when they are Brand Identity Designers (more on this later).
Strategically planning the build out of brand relationships to drive marketing success is the most cost effective way forward. Seventy-one percent of consumers consider brand trustworthiness and identity to be major influencers on purchase decisions (price and value are a distant second). Small and micro-businesses in the US are finally seeing what global companies such as Nike, Budweiser, Coca-Cola, Apple, and most of Europe have known for decades: Consumers want a connection between their unique aspirations, interests, and style to a specific brand. Products come and go, but emotions like trust, joy and exclusivity stay with the brand--no matter what!