Sharpen your brand

By Geoff Dodds

When times are hard, typically people react by cutting their marketing budget and focusing on sales. What they often forget to do, while they're wielding the knife, is to sharpen their brand. A clear, differentiated and relevant brand promise can make the limited marketing budget go further and make selling more effective.

So now is the time to:
• Focus even more on your core target market
• Really define sharply what you stand for
• Make sure you stand out from your competitors
• Express your brand personality more boldly
• Increase the emotional bond through stronger relationships
• Produce crystal clear messages supported by robust evidence
• Ensure core visual identity is consistently applied
• Articulate the value and find new ways to deliver more
• Make the customer experience consistent
• Engage everyone internally and mobilise them as a selling resource

And what's really nice about all this is that it costs very little. Brand projects have a reputation for being vastly expensive and largely superficial. But it doesn't have to be this way. Sharp branding is about alignment, not spend.
It's still the same pencil, but it's sharper than before. The result is that everyone can see more clearly what you're trying to say and do. You stand out from the crowd. You strengthen your market position. And you put yourself in a much better place for eventual recovery.

Powerful things brands!

Geoff Dodds is a brand consultant and coach, specialising in helping service organisations compete.