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For Your Success
Regardless of whether you are the proprietor of a small business, or part of an international commercial or non-profit organization, brand positioning is key to your success. The answer to two questions may summarize the effectiveness of your brand marketing: Is your brand widely recognized? And, do your name and logo generate a positive reaction by your competitors, as well as clients, staff and community leaders? By periodically measuring your branding strategies against organizational and marketplace realities, you may discover ways to refine elements of your brand identity. Then, by establishing stepped goals, you can maximize the benefits of implementing formidable but cost-effective brand management.
THE LONGEVITY OF YOUR LEADERSHIP
Where will you be in five years? Personally? Professionally? Is your organization likely to continue beyond the time of your leadership? How do you think your organization will have developed in five years? How are you planning for your departure from the organization? If you are a profitable enterprise, might employees or family become partners or owners? Or would you most likely sell to outsiders? If you are a non-profit, how do you envision the needs of your clientele changing? Who might emerge to lead your organization to its next level of success? Your response to these key questions will help you in determining a program of image enhancement appropriate to both your current and projected needs.
DON'T NEGLECT YOUR HOMEWORK
Are there gaps in your current operational procedures? Analyzing market realities encompasses more than determining your margin of profit as a commercial enterprise, or the scale of donations received, if you are a non-profit. Knowing local, regional and international standards for your product or service can reveal your ideal market niche and provide a foundation on which you can build prolonged success. Exploring the operations of neighboring organizations, plus competitors, suppliers, and associated enterprises, may generate fresh ideas for improving your image and effectively targeting your desired market.
Launching a successful program of image enhancement includes examining every area of daily operation. Do your signage, office and/or storefront reflect your industry? Are clients and other visitors greeted warmly by phone, in person and on the Internet? Remember that an effective marketing program will place your entire organization in the bull's eye of public attention. And what about the foundation of your organization? Have you reviewed your values, vision and mission statements recently? Is your Executive Summary articulate and compact? Are your business and/or development plans comprehensive? Do they incorporate up-to-date statistics? Do you polish them periodically to reflect changing realities? Are you using these materials effectively to help reach your goals?
HOW DO YOU DESCRIBE YOUR CLIENTELE?
Can you succinctly pinpoint the demographics of your current client base. How do these data compare with your desired clientele? Your answers should reveal potential changes in the focus of your branding efforts. Some experts assert that periodic surveys may yield unwelcome responses, but we propose that even negative responses can fortify your sense of purpose and lead to clarity in your strategic planning! By effectively surveying staff, family and friends, as well as past and present clients, you many find a fresh view of your image and unexpected ideas for achieving success. Helping you know what is appealing to your clientele may also determine what will appeal to potential buyers or other inheritors.
PUT SYNERGY TO WORK FOR YOU
Confident in your leadership role, you can invite dialogue with your staff or volunteers which will enhance their sense of identity as pro-active members of your organization! With your research complete, you can set goals for enhancing operations to ensure your target market knows your name, logo and slogan. While it is necessary to confirm your leadership role, you must also involve your employees and/or volunteers in organizational development. By encouraging appropriate opportunities for team input, your self-promotion and expansion will be stronger than if you rely solely on management or outside consultants.
SEEK NEW SUCCESS IN YOUR PAST
No one lives in a vacuum. Even if it is time for a clean sweep, taking stock of the myriad aspects of your day-to-day business can yield far more than negativity. Remember, you ARE where you ARE because of your past. Considering what you've already paid in time, energy and resources, it's worth reviewing your journey! Even if you are experiencing a downward trend, or have accomplished only modest growth, you can review the people and activities that have helped you accomplish each level of success. Hopefully, you have scrapbooks or folders of evolving logos and stationery, advertising campaigns and special events. And from these past successes, you may recognize patterns that are worthy of reconsideration! Even a fifty-year old logo's
starring character can get a new wardrobe, haircut and backdrop to proudly announce the longevity of your enterprise, plus your awareness of today's trends!
PLOTTING YOUR PROMO ROAD MAP
Compare your business plan with your daily operations regularly, maintaining a file of potential, as well as past, promo projects and your preferred design elements. To ensure you are moving forward positively, shape every aspect of public relations and marketing campaigns to meet some aspect of your goals. To save time, money and energy, jump-start the impact and appropriateness of your branding consultant by summarizing past promotional successes, defining design preferences and being forthright about your goals.
What branding strategies effectively highlight
your unique organization?