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Part 1: Who are we?

It’s December and a time of year when many companies are urgently preparing for next year’s new product or even new company “launch” or “re-launch.”  Although THE BRAND is a topic frequently mentioned in these meetings and conversations, much less frequently is there a  consensus of what the brand is, what it means, or if and how, (much less why) it’s significant.

A brand is a strategic asset …arguably the most important asset a business will ever possess. Every segment of every market has Premium Players.  Even when products and functionality are marginally distinguishing.  Even in markets characterized by their dirt cheap pricing.  The Premium Players possess brand equity their competitors don’t have. And that equity can be built and developed just like an investment portfolio.

All companies need to be seen to innovate and develop. But even the best products and services soon get copied by competitors and become commodities.  it’s your brand that makes you different and compelling.  Even if it’s not necessarily the best.  Getting there doesn’t mean just spending more money on promotions. It means really understanding what your brand is and what it means to your customers.

It’s critical that there is a consensus inside the company about that understanding, but it’s not automatic and often absent.

Before embarking on that product or company launch plan, see how much consensus among the key players there is to the following questions:

Who are we?
What does our company offer that will enrich the world?

Who are our customers?
How are we unique to our customers?
Why does it matter to our customers?
What are the key benefits of using our company?
What aspirations do we sell?
What do we want to achieve?
What do we want to tell the world?

Once there is agreement on the answers to those, the next step is to identify and place ourselves in the context of the competition.  We offer a set of facilitating questions for that purpose in Part 2 of our brand development blog.

The third step in the preparation includes a set of questions about the future, mapping where we plan to go from here, why and how.

Check back with us!