Top questions asked of a Marketing Consultant. #1

1_What_is_a_brand_anyway

There are some common questions that come up from Clients in our marketing consulting practice in Perth.

We thought it would be worth writing a little series, starting with #1.

Obviously as brand consultants, we live and breathe the World of brands, so it’s sometimes surprising to encounter businesspeople who don’t understand what a brand is. In our marketing consulting practice we work with with many organisations in Perth that do not sell things to the general public. Organisations like Engineering consultants, Resources companies and Law firms.

The first thing we typically do is conduct interviews with the leaders of the organisation.  It means talking to people like the Managing Director, Financial Controller or an executive who has worked their way up due to their strong professional, technical and people skills. Inevitably, they’ll admit, ‘What do you mean by brand? I’m not even sure why we are doing this brand project anyway.’ As I heard recently from the CEO of a major Resources client, “I’m a bit confused what is this for? Is it about the logo….?” He went on to say they sold commodities and “weren’t like Sony.”

So let’s pose Question #1 as this: “What is a brand anyway? And what’s its relevance for companies who don’t sell directly to consumers?”

A brand is the meaning that people get from dealing with you. People find meaning in what you do (especially versus what you say you will do) from your interactions, style and achievements. Those people could be your clients, procurement managers or employees. Everything you do gives an impression of who you are as an organisation. And that perception IS your brand.

So why does it matter to proactively manage brands (even if you don’t sell to consumers)? In just a few points;

  • It gives the first impression you want to give (as opposed to the unconsidered first impression you’re currently giving)
  • It attracts people to your organisation
  • Studies prove again and again that company reputation and brand promise directly grow engagement, retention and productivity
  • It builds unity, cohesion and diminishes silos in organisations

So even if you’re not selling directly to the general public, the way you are perceived will still matter. Conscious, consistent brand management can help shape those perceptions into meaning that is positive and true.

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