Articles in recent advertising journals and blogs on the subject of common brand problems serve as a reminder of the importance of fundamentals. At the top of the list of issues often appears something like, “No one in the organization has a solid understanding of the brand’s consumers or their needs.”
You may be experiencing a similar problem with your own brand. If so, have you tried to dig into the minds of your customers to understand their perceptions? Have you attempted to gain insight into their unmet needs? Without this kind of homework, it’s nearly impossible to set a sound strategic direction.
If your brand is having revenue issues, seriously consider a brand audit. In response to revenue issues, many rush to institute new marketing programs in hopes of “curing” the problem. But without conducting a candid assessment of how customers truly perceive a brand, these marketing efforts are often doomed to fail.
We frequently hear comments like, “I can tell you what you need to know about customer views. There’s no use in wasting time and money doing research.” But even the most intelligent business managers often develop tunnel vision. You may know what perceptions you intend to ascribe to the brand. But what if actual customer perceptions differ?
It’s vital to conduct exploration before committing marketing dollars to a new campaign. Research might also delve into the customer’s perceptions of your competitors’ products and services to better position your own brand against their shortcomings.
This upfront homework won’t “magically” define the strategy for moving forward, but it should give you crucial insight into what actions to take next. This is where objective analytical skills should be applied.
Does the brand just need minor tweaking? Or, are the problems much more serious? Carefully consider whether there’s enough objectivity and brand development experience to do the work in-house. If not, a 4As agency experienced in branding/rebranding might be the better choice for this all-important task.