Branding is more than logos and ads. Branding is the relationship and experience a customer has with your location, employees, products and services. Marketing, social media, and websites are examples of how you communicate the brand and compel a customer to action. When a customer researches a purchase, for example a new car, they have a score-card of value directing them. Dealership experience, sales person, quality of inventory, availability of specific options and ease of communication, would be found on a customers, ‘vital to value,’ score-card. Customer habits differ immensely from online and in person experiences. Analyzing competitors, (successful and failing,) market trends, customer data, media presence and many more aspects of your business when developing or evolving a brand ensures the brand is moving your customers to action. This is achieved by analyzing after defining, to find what customers find valuable. Branding strategy ensures logos and messaging are compelling customers at the appropriate platform, to act. Strategy ensures you are targeting the right customer with value incentives.
Generative Steward does not approach branding with goals to redo every visual aspect of your business. Part of our process is to value map, risk assess, and validate. When logos, experiences, services and products are working well, we do not try and re-imagine them. Often during creation of scale maps we find opportunities to re-brand or evolve, which is done through strategy development. Most successful outcomes are maximizing your current infrastructure and planning to scale, with brand improvement. Our intimate knowledge of small business priorities and ability to analyze data, will improve brand recognition, drive a value based experience, establish metrics and leave your business with tools and knowledge to continue to evolve.
Generative Steward highly recommends a workshop to develop strategy and brand at the same time. Where we produce a white paper describing strategy and application of the brand and our exclusive strategy plans. Analyzing as much data and validating relevance to customers values will generate more loyal customers. Generative Steward will cast a wide net for data and scale back to priorities as the strategy develops around the customers values. Our specialty is data analytics and ability to validate relevance to value. This is done during onsite working meetings.
Branding and strategy success rely heavily on defining every aspect of the customer experience. Identifying value points, desired actions, process maps, etc. before working meetings ensures Generative Steward has an in depth knowledge of operations, employees, roles, responsibilities, projects, etc. Which allows us to best facilitate Branding development. Generative Steward will maximize your investment in Strategy and Brand, that’s what a Generative Steward is!
For a Branding 101 Overview:
Using the dealership example, a customer is comparing dealerships with similar cars available after shopping online for several weeks. Customer leaves after both visits and decides where to return to the next day.
Dealership One; is off a main highway, with a large, well lit, open driveway. There are large visible signs before the turn, branded signs along the parking lot, clearly directing them to park. Customer is greeted after exiting the vehicle by a well presented sales rep in branded outerwear. After introductions, customer mentions a particular car caught their eye but first they want to look around. Customer notices clean parking lot, well organized service department, parts and reception desks are staffed and multiple cars catch their eye in the parking lot. They quickly get test drives and head home without a hassle to buy and several brochures.
Dealership Two, customer misses the turn into the dealership and drives past the sign at the turn. Dealership Two is off a multi car lot, city block, surrounded by shopping centers. Customer turns into another dealership with the intent of turning around, sees multiple cars that they didn’t recall from the internet. Curiosity grabs customer and they park at Dealership 3. Dealership Two, missed a brand building opportunity at a value point for the customer, the value point being: ease of finding location>Dealership Experience.
Dealership Three, the customer drives around a winding car lot full of cars after newer cars along the road caught their eye. Farther into the lot most of the cars are dusty. Customer is unsure of where to park. Open space is unmarked around the service area . Customer decides to park and make it quick. Customer is not greeted as they make their way around the lot. Sales person is with another client and ignores customer till a pause in conversation, tells customer to go around front and ask for help. After more walking and meeting a sales person, the customer takes one test drive and gets asked, “what will make you buy now?” A haggle is started over quality, features and value. Customer knows the market and options well. Is pressured to buy by sales person, refuses and insists on going home to think first. Is given a business card before walking back to leave.
Customer has had a logo or branded experience at each vital point of action with Dealership One. Customer had a smooth experience with no stress. Products and services were of high quality. Dealership took an opportunity to show the brands messaging and content in a format the customer took away.