All businesses are—or should be—marketing organizations. That is, they generate prospects and customers through various marketing activities to build their business. The problem is, most businesses put the proverbial cart before the horse. The cart is marketing, but the horse—the “engine” that conveys the marketing message—is your brand.
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But let’s face it. It’s not a new brand strategy you’re looking for. Your goal as a business owner or marketer is to make your marketing and communications more effective—more accountable. And THAT’S what branding does.
People generally buy your products and services for two reasons: To solve a problem and because it makes them feel good. One is practical, the other emotional. But a solid brand strategy can be an answer, or provide a customer solution, to each of those reasons. And that’s why you should care about the practice of branding.Are You Wasting Fifty Percent of Your Marketing Dollars?
You’re probably familiar with department store magnate John Wanamaker’s legendary saying: “Fifty percent of my advertising is wasted; I just don’t know which fifty percent.” If that statement weren’t so accurate, we might laugh a little harder.
The fact is, the Advertising Research Foundation reports that, while the number is actually closer to 20 percent—but with some estimates as high as 80 percent, businesses waste between $30 and $50 billion each year on ineffective marketing. And the primary cause of all those dollars being washed down the drain? Marketing and communications efforts that are not based on a solid foundation of brand strategy.
Accountable marketing—marketing with a return on investment—starts with a fundamental understanding of your brand. Without it, you’ll have no road map to guide your marketing and communications efforts.
Lack of branding means you’re trying to build or grow your business on shifting sand. A brand strategy built on the foundation of solid rock will unyieldingly support your marketing efforts. In the Gospel of Matthew, Chapter 7, Jesus tells a parable about The Wise and Foolish Builders: “Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock.”
A solid brand strategy is the foundation you need to build a successful business that will help you attract more customers, get current customers to purchase more frequently and build loyalty.
At the end of the day, there are really only FOUR fundamental ways to grow your business
And having a brand strategy can help you with all four business-building ways.
Take a simple branding quiz to see if your business is leaking dollars or lacking a unified brand strategy.