Brand Development Services

Developing an Elastic Brand.

 

An elastic brand starts with an enduring promise of value that’s rooted in a deep understanding of customer needs and the unique strengths of your company and product.  The value needs to be something that comes from your customers’ perspective, and it needs to be both focused on a particular need and broad enough to appeal to a wide audience over the course of time.

Of course discovering the balance between these two is never easy. Most B2B marketers have multiple buyers and complex buying processes.  Their products may straddle existing product categories or have no real equivalent in the marketplace.  Often they are solving complex problems that may not lend themselves to brief descriptions.

At Elastic Brands, we take our clients through a disciplined process of analysis that helps them first understand who their most likely buyers are.  From here we can begin to flesh out our understanding of what makes them tick.  And from there we can identify the brand idea that is central to the customers’ needs and an accurate reflection of the product and company value.  This brief description forms the basis for what comes next – a message platform, visual elements and finally, marketing programs.

Existing brands can also be elastic brands.

Most companies are not starting from scratch, but they may have lost the thread of meaning in their brand at some point.  They may be facing slow growth or a crowded competitive landscape.  They may simply need to refresh and revitalize their image.  They too can benefit from the Elastic Brands brand development process.

Companies that have been in the market generally have the advantage of having customers who they can talk to.  And in most cases, customers are more than willing to have a conversation about  what they like and don’t like. This is the first step to developing a strong brand.  It may seem like an overly simple approach – but there is no substitute for hearing directly from customers.  You may employ a mix of qualitative and quantitative methods, but conversations are the place to start.  From there, we work with our clients to identify the primary value points and recurring themes.  Sometimes B2B brands have strayed from their core value, and it may be necessary to prune their marketing messages or even their product offerings.  Sometimes the brand simply needs to be refreshed in the context of today’s marketplace.

Brand management keeps your brand vital and relevant.

What it means to be and to manage a brand has changed. There was a time when brands could control what information buyers had about their products. Those days are over. There has been a fundamental change in the power balance between buyers and sellers. Now, more than ever, successful tech brands emerge and thrive when they fulfill real needs, connect with buyers authentically and deliver on their promises.  And buyers have more ways than ever before to find out if sellers are true to their word.

Successful, sustainable brands need to have systems and processes in place to monitor and respond to voices in the marketplace.  Sometimes this is to identify customer satisfaction issues before they become major problems.  This can also allow you to spot the opportunities for extending your brand in new directions.  Many companies have only just begun to grapple with what this means in terms of marketing resources (it’s ongoing and often overwhelming). The important thing to remember is that brand development and brand management are processes that never end.  They need to be maintained and revisited over time.

If you’d like to learn more about our approach to building durable and relevant brands, contact us.