Look at the change we have all experienced over the past few years since the oil & gas downturn. Even with 'green shoots' starting to grow, the industry and related markets are changed forever. This is the new normal and the old ways of selling don’t work anymore so you must ask yourself a number of questions.
Is your brand still relevant to your customers?
Is the value you offer clear and being communicated well?
In this new landscape, has your brand position changed?
The region, however, is resilient and there are a number of developments, initiatives and new opportunities that are affecting the narrative for the city and those communities within.
It is a timely reminder that you should never assume your brand remains relevant to the current landscape without effort. It needs to be checked, monitored and adapted as the market shifts, customers expectations change and modern living imperatives dictate.
As a brand agency, this is something we are very conscious of with each of our clients and we look to a number of factors that a brand - new or established - requires to pay particular attention to. There are, of course, many others but the following 7, we feel illustrate the challenge you have in maintaining a relevant brand.
It's an oft-used word but at its heart, a vital aspect of your business.
What is compelling about you that the market relates to? What are your values and are they irresistible to your customers?
For food and drink brands, it can be provenance. For engineering, perhaps problem-solving. Regardless what it is, it must be authentic and demonstrable. The experience of the brand/service must align with the story told.
Ask yourself, is your story still relevant to you and your customers?
Tone of Voice:
It's not always what you say but the way you say it.
How does your brand 'sound'?
Is it friendly innovative / open / authentic / technical / expert?
It should evoke who you are and offer a candid insight into what makes your brand 'work'.
The words used can very quickly define how people think of you and your brand. Make sure it fits and helps shape your extended communication collateral.
Let's be clear, we all buy with our eyes and we absolutely judge a book by its cover. Until such time that we have tried the product (or it is recommended to us), how else do we judge something new?
So do you stand out? Is it in a way that your market will understand and be memorable?
Tastes and styles change, so never underestimate the importance of adapting your brand visually in a strategic and cohesive manner.
Do you know why your customers choose you? What's the one thing that makes their ears prick up and pay attention? This has to be more than just a set of value propositions - it is an emotional response someone makes when they hear or see what you do.
Truly understanding that - especially when in a changing market - is key in getting your message across and growing your business.
Getting the buy-in from all internal stakeholders is vital. If you can get your team to champion the brand and be true ambassadors then that's half the battle.
The best way to do so is to be transparent, honest and to involve them. Engage with them and get their input, keep them in the loop and be clear on why you are doing what you are doing.
Talk to your customers, talk to your team - they may hold the key to making the difference that makes a good brand great. Does everyone agree that what you promise is the same as what you deliver? Better to know the answer to that 'before' you have rolled out something new.
Do you know where your customer is? Which platform or medium is suited to which message or content? Knowing where to deliver your brand - whether that's by digital or more traditional means is again an important factor in achieving success.
Social media is about people engaging with people - what message or content is best to create that engagement and what kind of customer is more inclined to do so?
Of course, more traditional marketing still works but where does this fit in? The content and/or message must be relevant to the audience and medium - understand what works for you, adapt to leverage it and create amazing content.
All these factors are connected of course - they all blur into each other and provide a broad view of where you can protect and improve your brand. However, regardless of how you communicate and market your offerings, you must measure it and look for improvement.
Whether talking directly with your customers, or utilizing digital methods of measurement, you must be nimble on your feet and adapt accordingly. Having a successful brand is hard work - the better it is, the harder the work required to keep it relevant.
But everything worthwhile in life is hard - so what are you waiting for?
FortyTwo Studio is an award-winning brand and digital agency. Get in touch if you need any advice for your brand or even if you just fancy a cup of decent coffee.