What is in a brand? It is a lot more than a clever logo. A brand is about what people associate with your name or logo.
Remember Ratners the Jewellers? At its height Ratners ruled the high street jewellery market. They offered gold and diamonds at a price most people could afford. Though you might need an electron microscope to see the diamond, a solitaire diamond ring would cost less than a week’s wages.
Gerald Ratner had it all. The Ratner brand was associated with affordable luxury; and then came that infamous speech as the Institute of Directors on the 23rd April 1991.
During that speech he commented:
“We also do cut glass sherry decanters complete with six glasses on a silver-plated tray that your butler can serve you drinks on, all for £4.95. People say ‘How can you sell this for such a low price?’
“I say: ‘Because its total crap’.”
He compounded this by going on to remark that some of his earrings were: “Cheaper than an M&S prawn sandwich but probably wouldn’t last as long”
After the speech the value of the Ratners group plummeted by around £500 million, almost resulting in the company’s collapse. The most valuable asset you have is your brand and its reputation. You must prioritise protecting it.
So, whose responsibility is protecting and strengthening your brand? The answer is: everyone in your organisation. If you want your brand to symbolise quality, then everything you do must have quality at its heart. If your brand is friendly and customer focussed, then every engagement with your customers must be just that. Someone dismissive and short tempered answering the phone will damage your brand.
So, what steps can you do to build a strong brand and maintain it?
10. Cultivate a team of critical friends from within your customers, suppliers and partners, who will give you honest feedback about the perception of your organisation and the ‘word on the street’.
One service my company and I can offer organisations is advice and support on the development and maintenance of a strong brand.
Empower is delivering a half day training session on Marketing and Selling course for the Third Sector which covers brand development on the 22nd June 2012 at Capital Building, Tyndall Street, Cardiff, CF10 4AZ. Click here for more details!
This entry was posted on Monday 23rd April 2012.
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