To grow your business, build brand before communicating

With marketing and advertising high on the agenda for medium-sized businesses to grow, we spoke to First 5000 about building your brand promise and making sure you can deliver against it, before you communicate.

Full Blog: To grow your business in 2017, build your brand before communicating

Marketing & advertising is the most popular ways that companies plan to grow their business in 20171

Let’s first consider ‘what is marketing’? Some companies define this as communications – website, search, social media, collateral and advertising – others define it as the 4Ps (or today’s version of 6-8Ps); some have P&L accountability, others don’t.

We define marketing as the means by which employees develop, market and deliver your brand and offerings to your target customers to achieve commercial objectives. This includes your brand and core value proposition, identity and experience – product, packaging and service, people and process, website and store, distribution footprint, channels and environments, pricing and profitability, communications and CSR – understanding the customer journey and decision-making process to influence trial, purchase and repurchase, on-going engagement and advocacy.  

For marketing and advertising to be most effective, employees and customers need to know what your brand stands for, and be aligned to your brand. This ‘promise’ is what employees and customers expect your brand to deliver consistently across every experience (as per the list above). If your business does not keep its promise, it neither earns nor keeps the trust of customers and employees.

One of the biggest challenges for growing businesses is ensuring they have the capacity and capability to sustain growth, and continue to deliver against the brand promise. From availability of stock to customer service waiting times, product and service quality to invoicing and payments, if your business cannot sustain growth, then you need to think carefully about what you promise.

Communicating your promise should not occur before understanding your customers, defining what your brand stands for, and the key messages against which you can deliver.

The aim of brand building is to set your business up for the future, with a plan of messaging against the experience you can deliver now, versus next year and the year after – to meet your commercial, brand and customer objectives. Once you have this in place, you are ready to communicate. Your future-facing brand positioning and plan will engage employees, identify continuous improvement and inspire innovation across every experience. Investing in your brand is investing in the growth of your people, brand and business.

For more on One Brand thinking, you can download the whitepaper here: or contact Rachel on email

Reference: 1 thinkBig 2016, RSM


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