Faced with uncertainties about sales pipelines, a volatile economic climate, and fluctuating work environments – your marketing resources may actually be better spent focusing inward.
Instead of using the unprecedented downtime planning for external initiatives that could be forced to change at the drop of a hat, companies may be better served by conducting a full, internal examination of their existing brand.
And the more time and available brain trust you have at the ready – the deeper your exploratory dive can go. Some companies may choose to involve only core leadership, some may expand the effort to include all employees, and still others may choose to branch out and survey a collection of those outside the company, such as past and current customers, to get a more robust set of opinions.
As for the exploration itself, the first thing to consider is the relevancy of your existing positioning and mission statements, any related value propositions and guiding principles, and any slogans your company may be using in the marketplace. Ask several variations of these basic questions:
- Does our brand messaging still make sense? And not just to you – but to those that know you best (employees, customers, vendors). If there has been a shift in your corporate philosophy, take the necessary time to analyze it, and then properly address it. When creating or adjusting brand messaging, it’s important to be particular about specific language used while also paying close attention to the fundamental tone of the content.
- Does our reputation match our brand? Here you want to explore the perceptions people outside your office have of you across the marketplace. While you want to have an idea of what your customers think – it’s also important to gauge the thoughts of prospects – folks that may be aware of your company, but not intimately so. And be sure to consider that your reputation is built from a wide variety of sources, including customer experiences, viewed advertisements, website interaction, online reviews, social media activity, word of mouth, collateral, and much more. If an organization determines its market reputation is in significant misalignment with its internal messaging – immediate action will need to be taken to address the issue.
Want to know more?
Be sure to check out Part II of my blog series on branding. And for further thoughts on the subject, have a look at this handy TRG resource on Brand Positioning.