Don’t you just love the confidence of that headline? The bravado. The definitive-ness of it all. Really sets up the rest of this blog post to have a carved-in-stone vibe to it.
Well, there are very few absolutes in this world, especially when it comes to advertising. But, without a doubt, this next statement not only holds water—it carries buckets of it to the table. And no, it has nothing to do with random viral social media silliness.
A brand assessment is the single most important marketing effort you can put your precious budget toward, as it will drive everything you do for the next 7-10 years. Do the math on that and talk about some ROI!
There, we said it.
Around here, we believe that a proper brand assessment uncovers your organization’s “One Thing.” This is the defining element of your brand that is true to who you are, relevant to your key customer, and can be communicated across all consumer touch points. It provides great clarity and focus, which will set the stage for ownable, impactful advertising campaigns with strategic messaging that serves less like a broad-reaching beacon and more like a laser.
So, what is at the core of a brand assessment that makes it such a powerful, guiding force to your organization’s success? Your customer. A brand assessment is a customer-facing process that focuses on actual consumer-driven insights, both functional and emotional.
Prior to a brand assessment, many companies are unclear who they’re actually targeting or who they should be targeting. They’re quick to talk about what their brand offers, functionally driven by category or brand benefits. And in today’s hyper-competitive market, that’s no way to operate. Benefits are meaningless unless you know how they’re truly applied.
Our process allows us to dig deeper to uncover more about who the customer is, what motivates them, what factors drive their decision-making in a particular category, who the competitive set is, what perceptions they have of different brands, what is unique about the brand, and what barriers exist. In almost every instance, the brand assessment process also reveals unknown operational issues that, when changed, can greatly enhance the consumer experience and increase engagement with the brand.
All of this perspective is needed to figure out what we need to overcome in order to get new customers to buy a product/service or get current customers to buy more. When the research insights come from the customer, we can create messaging that is relevant, motivating, and believable. The benefit to your brand? More engaged leads and measurable ROI.
Plus, the core messaging established from a brand assessment can serve your brand for years, helping evolve and shape your branding campaign strategies over time. In fact, many of our clients still leverage the fundamental knowledge discovered in their initial brand assessment some five, ten and, in a couple of cases, 15 years ago. All because they understand and remain true to what their brand represents to their customers.
Now that we’re in the final quarter of this year, it’s as good as time as any to consider how a brand assessment fits into next year’s budget. We’ll even take it a step further and ask you to think beyond your marketing budget. Brand assessments help define and redefine your overall business plan, making it worth every cent you put toward it. Period.