Marketing Programs

Marketing Programs

We think great marketing for small businesses is multi-faceted and integrated and the marketing programs we offer look beyond short term goals and consider how to establish brand supremacy and resonance. Inside out strategies differentiate our approach as well as integrating a range of critical disciplines to strengthening your business and building a brand.

The challenge of marketing for small business

Small businesses face a range of challenges across their and while there are commonalities, there are often unique angles that can be adopted for the best outcome and that is the idea behind our marketing programs for small businesses. Strong marketing for small businesses should consider both traditional and digital media channels and develop appropriate communications strategies for them. From brand advisors to aligned strategy consulting, you’ll have bright and experienced professionals with a breadth of skills working on your project.

Small businesses deserve access to the opportunities that big businesses take for granted and ways to emulate their success without huge budgets for ads or big agencies. You deserve the attention and multidisciplinary teams that can endow your quest for improvement and visibility with a tailored marketing program.

When you are ready for a marketing agency to help you establish a presence and grow your brand online and offline, we can help you identify your best brand strategy, the optimal positioning and develop a branding identity that can inspire and captivate.

The Strategic Context For Brand Transformation

The Context for Brand Transformation

A strategic context for brand transformation is more necessary than ever as professional services companies like law, accounting and architecture firms begin to realise the importance of building a brand. The realisation that building a brand goes way beyond designing a nice logo is important for businesses who may still not think it is possible to differentiate in their sector.

When it comes to the unfavourable impacts that the pandemic may have had on your operating model and the challenges thrown up, you may be starting to recognise that a transformation is needed, From mindset to branding and digital transformation to delivery model, and due to the range of areas impacted, you may realise that an integrated strategy is required.

 

Rebranding Strategy – a Great Beginning but Not the Whole Story

Rebrands are the latest panacea being offered by marketers to leaders for wide-ranging growth, technology and internal capacity issues they face. However, a focus seemingly only on marketing drivers may not provide the comfort that leaders need, as it’s difficult to make the leap from a marketing-driven initiative to functional and operational constraints that affect your business’s competitive position.

Consultants offering productivity tools or technology firms offering software solving current problems but with no reference to brand ideals and ambitions (every bit as important to sustainability and longevity), would likewise fail to provide the strategic lens required to solve problems in a holistic manner. This is what makes a strategic context for brand transformation so critical.

Having clear objectives regarding building a brand in order to become and stay differentiated, is a consideration that spans your business, end to end. Therefore, there is a need for an integrated brand strategy and transformation. There is an unmet need for independent assurance of the brand marketing work to ensure it incorporates the business’ objectives and considers the business’s capability to live up to the brand ideals defined. Conversely, there is also a need for independent assurance of change management activities to ensure they are aligned to brand imperatives, like purpose, positioning and fundamentally the brand promise.

Ideally, there is a strategy to the delivery process of brand transformation that can be designed and implemented through an integrated brand strategy. At Iconify, we recognise that this is what businesses are really crying out for at this time – a holistic process for addressing the range of challenges coming at leaders fast, and uniquely we have the expertise and capability to offer the underlying work or the assurance capability. This means that even if you already have (internal or external) marketing or strategy teams working, it makes sense to consider a different approach that ensures all brand marketing is also aligned to business objectives, and change works are aligned to brand imperatives because this significantly reduces the risks of working in silos, conflicting requirements and degraded customer experiences.

The Branding Imperatives to Business Objectives Alignment Gap

At Iconify, we have recognised this significant strategy synergy gap, namely that because the links just aren’t made in the minds of leaders between a rebrand and the integrated strategy that a business needs to solve the challenges they are currently facing and anticipating, these disconnects looms large in the absence of an integrated strategy. That’s why we propose a strategic context for brand transformation that considers the business as a whole end-to-end and touches on the main considerations that would make the largest and most immediate advances for creating a brand with longevity in its DNA.

If

  • you need a strategy for bringing business revenues and other KPIs up a couple of notches
  • you face staff and customers loss, are getting fewer leads or are billing at lower rates
  • revenues are stalled and you are looking for new avenues of growth, and want to add new services
  • you have yet to start your digital transformation process
  • your website is not yet a digital asset that helps generate leads, improve reputation/social proof
  • your digital presence is lacklustre
  • You want to fall in love with your business again, and everyone along with you,

you need a rebranding strategy that goes beyond brand design and focuses on brand-aligned business strategy.

Steps to Brand Supremacy

Step 1) Brand Strategy

How can your business win? Brands that win are outcome-focused, not service focused. They know it’s about the experience, the confidence engendered and the hassle avoided. Coke understands that nobody ever wanted a cola. They wanted an exciting cold drink that made them feel like a part of a worldwide tribe of people just like them.

Without Coca-Cola’s ad budget, how do you establish your credentials and influence your target audience? That’s the role of brand strategy; through this process, clarity on purpose, positioning, proposition and your brand promise are realised and integrated into your operations, people and communications. A rebranding strategy that does not take account of the strategic context for brand transformation for your business, will not deliver the full benefits your business deserves.

 

Step 2) Brand Identity

Brand identity is all the visual, verbal design and cues of your brand and should match your overall brand personality. Many rebranding strategies stop at this level but we aim to go beyond the visual and match these cues not just to the brand personality but also to your brand imperatives; things like purpose, positioning, position and promise), and be designed to make the right impact. This is how you build out a rebranding strategy with stamina.

 

Step 3) Capability and CX (Customer Experience) Alignment

Holistic integration of brand strategy into your operations and processes can create a customer experience that customers appreciate and don’t want to be without. That comes from building the capability to match your brand’s promise.

It’s important to grasp that your customer’s experience is a rolling river, from when they become aware of you, to when you have fulfilled an order to when they recommend you or find out you have other services they need because you anticipated their needs to when you ask for reviews they are happy to give or respond to a query or complaint they wish they didn’t need to when they read news of what you or your employees are up to, doing things that interest or matter to them. It matters.

 

Step 4) Change

Understanding what needs to change to plug the gaps between your vision and your as-is business model with its attendant challenges and constraints, is a key part of building a brand or rebranding. Change is central to successful and sustainable rebranding and managing this process and your organisation’s readiness for it is vital.

 

Step 5) Communications

Once your brand personality is clear, your voice and language can be evolved to meet prospective client expectations and appeal to their emotions, and this comes from messaging that is concerted and consistent across all channels for employees, partners, and clients alike.

 

Step 6) People and Culture

As first-line advocates of your business, and defenders of the faith of your business, your employees are so precious. It’s critical that they buy into the principles of the business and that they are empowered to embody your brand ideas and ways of working in their conduct and performance. The culture of your business must enable the attitudinal positions your business expects to see through your employees. Building and executing a rebranding strategy in the context of brand transformation is a perfect opportunity to review how well your processes facilitate innovation and adoption of change as some profound changes to underlying processes and systems may be required.

 

Step 7) Digital Transformation, Marketing, Presence and Web

Digital – the word on everyone’s lips with a plethora of applications, fields and opportunities.

Rebranding your business strategically, not just visually, is the perfect time to start to understand your customers, their needs and habits as well as the outstanding gaps in your business’s capability. Being the aspirational brand your business aims to be will fall short without significant and extensive digital capabilities and a presence that is built and bolstered through them, for example, engagement and the ability for your clients to access some of your services through your digital infrastructure.

 

Step 8) Constantly and iteratively align brand imperatives to business objectives

Once deficits are identified, it is important that all changes undertaken are done with a view to mapping strategic objectives, delivery methods and the brand’s aspirations and objectives.

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Why Brand Positioning is Key to Successful Brand Strategy

The Positional Elements of Brand Strategy Part 1

The Key to Successful Brand Positioning and Why you Need It

Brand positioning is key to successful brand strategy because it drives everything from brand design to the business choices we make around, for example, capability, tools, communication and HR.

The holy grail, whatever your business is to move away from factors that commoditise your business and trap you in a race to the bottom on price. Conversely, differentiation allows you to levy a premium for your offering, whether you sell products, services or a mix of both. This all depends on differentiation and should particularly be focused on businesses operating in a very competitive business terrain, which let’s face it, is a high percentage of many companies. Certainly, in the professional services and home and lifestyle sectors, this is very true.

 

Why the positional elements of brand strategy are key to successful brand positioning

But what are the things that allow your business and offering to be differentiated? Let’s take a quick step back and consider some core ideas around what constitutes a successful brand strategy and some foundational brand positioning truths.

1) Understanding Brand Imperatives 2) Differentiators may be found outside the offering 3) what brand positioning is 4) why it’s integral to brand strategy, and 5) why your business needs it

 

1) Brand Imperatives

Brand strategy is based on what we define at Iconify as Brand Imperatives, foundational elements of building a sustainable brand – Purpose, Principles, Perception, Personality, Position, Proposition, Promotion, Promise. These are defined with the purpose of carrying them into the operational, functional and delivery realms of business in an integrated way, to ensure consistency between what your brand stands for and how it operates, so that expectations set by your messaging and promotion can be met through the capability built within your business to do so.

 

2) Differentiators may be found outside the core offering

What sets you apart does not have to be intrinsically in the offering but may in fact be in methods, delivery or even based on relationship.

Positioning is an imperative of the brand that defines the space within which you believe the sum total of what your brand and business are about can matter. It;s the space where everything that differentiates your business and lends such a slant and pivot to what you offer as to make it difficult to compete with on the terms you set as to what is so special about your brand. People buy feelings and benefits, advantages and emotional crutches; they buy satisfaction and gratification, not just the products and services they buy from you. These are simply a means to the end they ultimately seek.

3) What is Brand Positioning?

Al Ries makes it clear that this positioning is an alchemy that happens in the mind of your customers as a result of the perceptions driven by your business about the benefits people gain from your offering. Your business must be positioned in a favourable ‘space’ relative to your competition where a synthesis of what the customer believes they want, what they need, and how your offering delivers on those.

To do this effectively, you need to KYC – know your customer, which can be done through research and conversation.

 

Positioning strategy, the Customer and CX

Positioning Strategy is the plan and techniques of defining, ascribing and winning the right position and while it is an integral part of brand strategy, we believe brand strategy encompasses ideas beyond just positioning.

This is because it’s one thing to build the perception, another thing to carve out the position but it’s another thing again to maintain that position sustainably. That must be supported by the capability that references and protects the foundation, meaning and power of that position through how your business operates.

 

4) How brand positioning is integral to brand strategy

The position can not exist in a vacuum and is not tenable without consistent and excellent customer experiences that encourage your customers to move beyond adoption to advocacy. This is because it’s very possible to become positioned by accident or as a matter of course, which leaves a lot to chance and your business at the mercy of those who can spend significant amounts on ad revenue to rebut the position you hope for. Businesses that hope to become brand must work proactively to identify a position to own and deploy communications and marketing signals to do that in an integrated way.

5) Why you need it

Where the favourable and compelling idea of your business lives in the mind of your customer is where your brand is born. Before this idea is adopted, you are just a business. Once a strong view is formed that will lead to the contemplation of adoption or advocacy, your business becomes a brand. This is brand positioning. This is ‘why’ brand positioning and the necessity to explore the positional elements of brand strategy and the key to successful brand positioning.

You need it because you win by contending in a busy market place as a leader and a remarkable player due to differentiators that can be found in your business through brand strategic tools and techniques.

 

In the beginning …. or 100 years ago or so

When we think about brands, we think about Coca Cola, Mercedes Benz, Xerox, Colgate and the like, thousands of brands we are all familiar with, whether we are adopters or not but what these brands have had above all is time. Even Apple, often seen as a Wunderkind has been around for more than four decades. They have had time.

They have also had something else that is truly special. They have had a story.

But there is one other thing that they have all done. They have spent millions building and cementing their position. This means that if you haven’t got 40 – 100 years to establish your brand and billions in ad spend, you really need a positioning strategy; you need the special story and you need to do your utmost to found that position in the minds of your customer. You do that, you are no longer competing on a commoditised basis. Which means recognition and resonance. You will have adopters and advocates. Brand love and loyalty follow and the bottom line, follows this – revenues will increase and keep increasing predictably. That’s the story of brand.

In the Positional Elements of Brand Strategy Part 2, we will look at some more exciting ideas to help determine a positioning strategy

Integrated Brand Stategy for Decision Makers

The Ultimate Brand Strategy Process

In this post, I share an infographic that represents our Integrated Brand Strategy Process, the ultimate brand strategy process for decision-makers, who must consider more than just marketing, design and creative aspects of the business.

We take an in-depth look at what an integrated brand strategy should look like and the process that’s required to ensure that it’s fully fit for purpose and delivers on everything I have outlined in the last post, about why brand strategy should be integrated and aligned with your business’s operational objectives and actions.

 

From Porter’s 5 forces, SWOT and PEST to Perceptual Maps and Value Chains, there are a number of tools that can help us build a foundation for brand strategy work.

1) Decoding your Business Environment with Strategic Tools

The first step in building a brand strategy is to recognise that it is in fact a building process.

You need a foundation, damp proof membrane, steels, and utilities thought out, worked out and integrated throughout from the outset. But also, you must know that you need to build a house, not a school but you may not know if you want a house on three floors or a sprawling bungalow.

To establish your goals and ultimate business objectives, you need to fully understand the terrain within which you operate. Then you can take a clear and long term view of what the brand you are building should be and for example, the type and size of plumbing (capability) you will need.

 

You must carve out what we call the ‘Brand Imperatives’ at Iconify, discussed in the last post; the P2Ps as we we call them – Purpose, Principles, Perception, Personality, Position, Proposition. Promotion, Promise. These are important both internally and externally but we must never define them without reference to what is going on in the external environment. Brand strategies are created to help businesses win which invariably requires taking stock, knowing and fully understanding your strengths and weaknesses, your threats and opportunities. With regard to your environment specifically, you should be abreast of challenges and gaps in the market as well as obstacles – your basic SWOT/PEST data but used as a basis for building your purpose and differentiators, as well as your positioning decisions.

 

This market and competitor information is critical for deciding how to pitch your company. You get many good ideas too of where the ‘potentialities’ of your organisation for differentiation and even extension may come from, which is part of what makes this integrated approach, the ultimate brand strategy process.

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2) Inside-out Brand Strategy – Define your Brand Imperatives

You start outside, scope out the terrain, start to define what your structure should be, where you should site it and what its edifice might be but starting outside and understanding your environment means you are sure where there is water, soil or rock. You are ready to start considering your business and brand in concert to define your Brand Imperatives – purpose, principles, perception, personality, position, proposition, promotion, promise – in detail, with the correct stakeholders.

 

Simon Sinek advocates starting with the ‘Why’, and we agree, so we start with purpose but the preceding exercise will have informed and reinforced that/those ‘why(s) as you start to define your business purpose, your principles and ideals you want to embed in the organisation to start winning the attention and custom of the clients you will target. Brand Imperatives are built from informed hopes and dreams.

What is the current perception of your business in the market and does that differ from the perception you hope to project? What positional opportunities are there and should you continue with the position you occupy if you do not lead in it? How close are your offerings to what people really want and are willing to pay for?

 

What will it cost to get you to the ideal or is there a pivot that is more profitable? How well is your company keeping its promise to its clients, meeting customer expectations and what adjustments are required to get there? How are you promoting your business now? Are your methods relevant and effective or is a review in order? This and more as some of the questions this part of the process will help you get the answers to.

3) Define Brand Aspirations

At the start, you’ll consider where you are going and decide where you should go as you define brand imperatives, but this is also the time to think about what you want the brand to be known for, desired as – which psychographic requirements will it meet, for example. As you define your purpose, it should be linked to aspirations for the brand. It’s no use having a limiting purpose if you have big ambitions for the brand. But these need to be defined clearly in terms of market segmentation, position and even down to how you would like to be described by current and prospective customers in the next 2 years when they speak about why they pay 50% more for your offering than for that of your closest rivals.

 

This will help determine the gap between where you are and where you want to be and of course the size, scale and extent of the effort required to begin to fill the gap in the market most lucratively.

4) Determine Interdisciplinary Objectives

That last step is critical in building clarity on what each function of your business need to do to achieve those aspirations and clarify how the operations need to change. It will help to build a business case and outline the necessary transformations across the organisation, why they need to happen and by when. In an integrated brand strategy, all things must work and dovetail well together with dependencies clear, anticipated and well managed to deliver the resonance that is the goal of an integrated brand strategy.

Consider operations, functions (including marketing of course), people and technology – what do we need to be able to do with and within these to build the business and the brand that will get us that market share and establish our brand as the first choice? What should be prioritised, and at what rate to get us there?

5) Review organisational capability

Operations, functions, people and technology – how well are we placed to meet the objectives established in the last step as what the business should be capable of doing to arrive at the desired endpoint of strategic initiatives.

From brand design to business transformation to reputation management, the next step is to determine where the organisation is now versus where it wants and needs to be if it is to meet its aspirations along a capability maturity spectrum that will be built upon as the strands of the integrated brand strategy are executed.

As an example, if an objective is that the business wants to engage more frequently and meaningfully with a segment of their target audience they currently feel cut off from, the questions would be:

  • Is there a solid and multifaceted digital marketing strategy that will make this happen and
  • are the necessary tools and capability available to achieve this?

Common challenges are IT related and many businesses are constrained by digital transformations that they are yet to make, many of which are relatively simple. However, in the absence of a complete brand strategy incorporating the digital transformation element, the roadmap to achieving these capabilities can appear very vague.

 

One thing we see a lot is that innovation is a fond dream of many business owners which they consider is of the pipe variety. Another is to increase diversity and inclusion. Without a clear plan to identify and remedy any deficits in your business, if they exist, it’s difficult to make the turnaround. Even when these exist, if the program of change isn’t linked to the brand strategy, especially with regard to brand imperatives and how organisations are committed to operating, it is all too common to fall at the first hurdles.

 

Ultimately, your ability to build the brand you dream of and be the first choice of the target segment you are aiming for in the position you decide on is fully dependent on operationalising all the areas that will deliver the objectives of the business case in uplifting capability and capacity across the board.

6) Define Change Program and Develop Strategy

Operations, functions, people and technology – what will actually be delivered, by who, how and when?

 

The parameters of the business’s transformation from the brand to the people level are taking shape strongly by this point in the process, and remain only to be documented, planned and resourced as a program of change with buy-in from decision-makers and stakeholders who should already have been on this journey from the outset and can clearly see that the costs indicated are a warranted and worthy investment.

Change practitioners and project managers will manage this part of the process but the brand strategy should dictate a key set of considerations for the business and technical architecture as well as how people should be organised and capability built on a cross functional basis. If new branding collateral is required, this should of course govern that process of discovery and design.

7) Strategy Execution

What have we done so far? We have built an integrated brand strategy that has considered the lockstep improvement, perhaps even overhaul of interdependent parts of your businesses that will benefit from economies of scope through the transformations that are made to all parts of the business that build, transmit, translate and deliver value. Yes, we have built a Transformation Engine! That’s what makes this the ultimate brand strategy process.

 

For the first time, perhaps you have been enabled to see your company as a holistic entity. It’s no longer seen as a business where it’s desirable to have functions, tools and processes they use, hived off in silos with communication about key and integral things, minimal or non-existent. Now we can plan for an organisations where people across all functions enjoy a sense of shared identity based on purpose and direction as well as a role-based responsibility.

 

Clearly, this organisation will serve customers better, now united by a shared vision and enabled and empowered by better capabilities to do the jobs they are asked to? Surely the people that work here are more engaged and enriched?

Strictly, execution is separate from strategy, however, it is extremely instructive to define and link how and where delivery workstreams that will work on the benefits of the strategy are related, how they’ll be met and should be a critical part of the project governance, risks and benefits management.

 

What will the comms and messaging look like? What is being transformed for brand, the business and IT and how will they all impact Customer Experience? How will they be delivered, how will this be governed and who will be responsible for ensuring that the Brand Strategy objectives are not lost through the compromises that often have to be made in change programs? Lots of exciting questions, the answers to which could be transformative to your business.

 

The unique thing about the brand strategy I have described is that it is an integrated brand strategy and in that integration is its power. The wonderful thing about it is that it generates sufficient detail not just to build a powerful strategy but also facilitates the establishment of tactics and processes to make the strategy stand while remaining responsive, flexible and focused on the Customer Experience.

Below is the summary of our Integrated Brand Strategy Process.

The Ultimate Brand Strategy - the number one best brand strategy for decision makers is an Integrated Brand Strategy Process

The idea is simple: To help decision-makers adopt a brand mindset that extends beyond the creative and design elements of a brand, and takes you from the visual to the heart, soul and the parts that actually do the heavy lifting. It helps owners, leaders and directors realise that changes to strategy should be aligned to the brand marketing work and ensure that brand messaging is reflected through the business operations and translated to how customers experience your business.

This strategy will to help strategists create roadmaps and gain clarity on your most entrenched challenges. Its complexity will be defined by the complexity of your organisation, but as a rule of thumb, the more complex your operations, the more you need a brand strategy that isn’t skating on top of disembodied marketing activities but is at the heart of your strategy for achieving your revenue and brand-driven goals.

Be your customers’ first choice with our Marketing and Branding Programs

Full-Service Branding and Marketing Programs

Build a brand that will stand the test of change, time and tastes with our Marketing and Branding Programs. Research-based brand development and strategic position and perception building, creating evocative branding and high-performance websites to drive the marketing of your business.

Differentiation has the power to make you not only stand out but to be the first choice of your customers.

Visibility and Awareness at Iconify

Visibility and Awareness

Brand Development, Strategy and Purpose at Iconify
Brand Development
High Performance WEBSITES at Iconify

High Performance Websites

Branding Magic at Iconify

Branding

social media and digital marketing at Iconify
Digital and Social Media
Public Relations at Iconify

PR and Reputation

Branding and Marketing Services

Iconify helps businesses build brands that are powered for growth, visibility and endurance with the following services.

Research for business at Iconify
Research
Digital Marketing Services
Digital Marketing Services
Brand aligned Websites
Websites
Strategy Services from Iconify
Strategy
design services at Iconify
Design
Technology at Iconify
Technology
software and apps at iconify
Software and Apps
change at iconify
Change

Iconify is a full service strategic, creative branding agency collaborating with businesses to build great brands with digital capability. We help companies to envision their brands, rediscover and repair their business through providing branding advice, design and strategy. We deliver high standards of care and professionalism across a range of business sectors

We care about making the impact you crave while showing the heart your customers seek and we are able to help you build the capability you need to deliver on your brand’s promise.

Businesses are formed with passion and your business idea can propel you and give you the motivation you need to give it everything you’ve got. We’re a branding agency that will channel your passion to create a commercially viable brand through discovering your purpose and aligning your business to your brand platform so that you can make the impact you create, your business can be memorable and resonant and it can grow.

Become a highly visible company

Visibility Strategies for Small Businesses

A Branding and Marketing Program for Greater Visibility

Visibility strategies for small businesses are a critical part of branding and becoming a highly visible company helps you become the first choice of customers. Visibility and awareness help to build credibility, recognisability and brand resonance. They help establish expertise and range to ensure your business becomes a highly visible company. This is part of the journey to become iconic and does not happen by accident. Visibility strategies for small businesses must be prioritised as a goal, with plans in place to ensure that yours is one of the key companies that become a highly visible company within your sector and beyond. This is part of the journey to becoming your customer’s first choice.

Yours becomes a highly visible company when you communicate distinct and highly targeted messages to a target audience and that needs something you offer specifically. Designing a distinctive brand identity that bolsters all the key outcomes you want from your brand strategy is important as a vehicle for deploying a brand strategy.

Growth comes when awareness of your business and your offerings and what makes you great extend beyond your immediate customers, determined by identifying the most profitable segments to invest in building up awareness of your business with.

Becoming a highly visible company requires vision and action to scale the heights you aspire to for your business.

Who can benefit?

 

Full-service research led program to increase your firm’s awareness and visibility, enhance and broaden your brand’s appeal, refine and target your message and grow your small business or professional services company.
Iconify your architectural firm by increasing awareness and visibility and getting your blueprints perfect

Architectural

Rules to grow your firm's visibility at Iconify

Legal

Greater Awareness for your Accountancy Firms

Accountancy

Raise the credibility of your Consulting Firm at Iconify

Consulting

Educational Institutions

Educational

Start-Ups - get seen and heard

Start-Ups

Technology

Property

Apparel

Apparel

Get Your New Products Awareness and Visibility

New Products

Property management Businesses - get your business seen and heard

Lifestyle

Niche Businesses can gain great advantages through building a brand awareness and visibility

Niche Businesses

The Steps We Take to Help You Win

We help set your goals and benchmark to ensure that yours becomes the first resort Step 1: Identify Challenges and Set Objectives

Research for VisibilityStep 2: Industry and Competitor Research

Strategies for Solving Step 3: Strategy

Find a pole positioning for competing optimallyStep 4: Positioning
Change definition and marketing implementation plan for building out your visibilityStep 5: Change Definition and Implementation

Reviewing the Brand Imperatives of Your Business

What are some of the important visibility strategies for small businesses to bear in mind? Oftentimes, businesses have not done some of the initial and discovery work of brand creation and development with regards to defining the purpose and premise of the brand. These analyses yield a clear and uncompromising picture of their positioning and therefore the perceptions they hope to project as part of their promise and as an enduring part of their story, which they impart through their messaging and brand personality. Therefore it is often necessary to go back to do this work. Even when it has been done, research frequently leads to the refining of this process in order to prepare new branding or other work preparatory to becoming a highly visible company or establishing expertise.

Branding Image and Identity Collateral

To get to the visibility required, everything must resonate. We develop all the branding collateral needed to be more visible, recognisable and recall-able. Everything from your slogan, your logo, look and feel and even naming, should you require it, is available.

Storytelling

We establish your story so, craft your pitch and determine points of narrative wherein the primary points are reinforced throughout the customer experience.

Copywriting

Across all channels, the message given, the language used, the personality evinced, the effect left must be right. Copy on your website or on your social media must carry on the narrative of your brand as a whole and we will help with the story told.

Websites

Your website is your digital storefront but it’s more than that. It’s the home of your brand and its communications and can also be a powerful tool for growing brand awareness and profits. We will create a website or adapt the one you have into a utility that will be more than just good looking but functional and high performance too.

Strategic Actions from Benchmarking

Very often, this  process yields other additional benefits. An initial benchmarking exercise allows an identification of best practices in business operations or technology adoptions your competitors might be making. You might find you need new technology to pursue new strategic objectives that have arisen as part of the market research process and as the next stage in the the process of becoming a preferred firm, we can help you make the business and technology changes required to live up to your brand perception and promise.

Iconify's programs for visibility, branding plus our new high profile website have helped us change our strategy for differentiation and growth, basing it on focusing and building our brand and reputation and aligning our operations accordingly to achieve our objectives.

Selena Creggs

VP

The Importance of Market Research for Small Businesses

To Boss Your Market, You’ve Got to Know It

The importance of market research for businesses starting out or moving up, including small businesses is down to the fact that the data that research provides, is at the heart of much of what you decide to do with your brand. How you pitch your offering, your messaging, how you articulate your purpose, the methods you use to project certain perceptions, these all depend on knowing our market and the prospects who people it.

Setting off on a brand development adventure to ascertain your positioning without market research is analogous to setting off on travels through the Sahara Desert without a compass. You might try it but you really should not.
You might understand the importance of developing a brand and also for having a brand strategy to steer your business through choppy waters but it is equally important to know that it is complex and in-depth work that should have a basis in facts and numbers and not just supposition and wishful thinking. Empirical evidence is not only good for confidence but it actually gives the power for great decision making.

 

compass capabilities of market research

What is Market Research?

Market research is a tool, a knowledge base, a marketing, planning and brand development stock in trade that enriches the process of brand definition and sharpens the resulting brand’s effectiveness and the desirability and efficacy of the offerings your business provides. You find and collect information, insights and patterns that expose the potential desires and unmet needs of customers as well as their attitudes and habits. If you remember that businesses like Google and Facebook trade in data about you and me, then you must realise the value of data like that.

Regular market research helps your business grow and continue to grow. It helps your business take stock of shifts and changes in the market place and identify trends and threats in the operating environment. It’s a real risk not to do it because it helps you continue to understand and refine your knowledge about your target market and improve your ability to speak their ‘language’. It means that you can pinpoint problems and possible opportunities and uncover competitors operating in gaps you were not aware of.

 

What should be the scope and objectives of your market research?

Market Research is famously divided into primary and secondary research types.

Clarity on what it is you want to know about the market at the stage of the business life cycle you are inhabiting determines this, as well as the type and mix of techniques you might employ.

Primary market research focuses on collecting unique data about a business and target customers to use to enhance your offerings and relies on getting as close to the customer or prospective customer feedback or behavioural data from their interactions and transactions with you, like how effective sales is, how effective your sales channels are etc.

Secondary market research is conducted at a remove from the customer and their direct behaviours, feedback and reports, being derived from readily available and compiled from a range of sources.

With primary research, you focus on data and metrics for:

Sales
Competitor and industry research
Competitor Services
Communication channels
Interviews
Focus Groups

You focus on the following with secondary research:

Published company reports data
Industry and sector-specific data
Government data and sector reports
Third-party surveys and studies
News and social media reports, reviews and the general themes shared in forums etc.

Things to Remember

It’s important to ascertain when you start a market research process what data is required, why and by whom, whether similar research has been performed, especially recently and try to mine it or adapt it to your requirements. This may mean that you do not need to carry out your own primary research but if it does, it is instructive to define how and who with. A hypothesis or general idea about the broad nature of the target market is also needed.

10 Reasons You Must Have Market Research

Start your business or relaunch it on a stronger footing

For brand development and to underpin a brand strategy

Compete with established competitors who are confident and slick because they’ve got market research insights you don’t

To scale

To differentiate and diversity

Learn about the customers you want, the customers you’ve got and the potential customers you’re missing – extend your line or offerings

Know and undermine your competitors by identifying opportunities in performance, pricing and promotion

Make informed decisions

Test new offerings and markets

To speak to your prospects in a language they understand and build brand love and loyalty now and forevermore, Amen.

 

Bridge the Knowledge Gap with Market Research

Businesses that engage in regular market research grow faster and are more successful than competitors who do not. This is why market research is not just for new businesses and is especially precious for small businesses and professional services businesses that face intense competition. When it comes to defining a customer experience that can give you an upper hand in retained USPs, market research is critical for the data needed to design it,

Brand Communications and Challenges

Bramd communications and common challenges can be addressed by the strategic development of brand assets, brand message and visual and verbal branding

Solving brand challenges with strategic brand communications

Brand communications and challenges associated with it are common across every industry with the need to create a consistent, resonant brand message, visual and verbal branding and memorable brand assets across all communication channels.

We meet these with a range of strategies designed to strengthen your brand message and increase visibility positively. Powerful brand ideas underpin differentiated brand building and positioning and direct the development of brand assets. Getting these right help to grow your business, which is the point of everything, and an effective strategic brand communications strategy is imperative to reach and move the target audience. People respond to the visual and verbal branding optimised for their needs and attention.
With that in mind, there are many specific kinds of challenges that brand communications can help to solve.

As your brand strategy is crystallised and your brand’s uniqueness is distilled into a series of brand messages, it is necessary to consider how you ensure that the brand image you have spent time and money developing can be protected, leveraged and communicated fully, to effectively and compellingly to reach, influence and move customers to action, using traditional and digital methods to attract and impel the target segments of your business.

We start with an overall strategy, marketing communications that convey your business’s marketing mix with the fundamental purpose, principles, proposition and personality with consumers and stakeholders.
Partnering with you, when you need a brand communications agency to address specific challenges your business may face from time to time, we ensure your company’s value, however it is defined, reaches your prospects but also that the process of ensuring that all messages that go out about your business stay authentic and consistent even when conveyed to different target segments with variations for different personas.

It doesn’t stop here, but also encompasses the kinds of communications new companies or those seeking funding or wanting to raise the profile of a new technology, for instance, may need. Visual and verbal branding is more important than ever for use in social media, video content and PR that’s aimed at the public as well as stakeholders, investors and competitors.

Find and reach new markets and customers

We review business data and strategy, we determine actions for attraction and engagement goals, while maintaining the connection and loyalty of your core base. Using research methods, we develop a roadmap to identify new segments and craft messages that will align with their world views, and give insights to create or change relationships and cause prospects to adopt your offering.

Pathways to incredible branding

We exist to build brands and love to come up with great brand ideas and the attendant communications. Brand communications is one of the most fundamental ways of growing your brand, your brand presence and legitimitising your brand position.

Creating a transformative brand comes from the inside out, back end to the front end and everything in between. Transformative brands change people’s minds, lives and attitudes but the communications deployed make the difference between good and great.  We have helped customers with different challenges with strategic communications and brand assets.

Drive brand awareness and visibility through purpose

If differentiation enables competitive positioning and strategy, distinctive messages and storytelling are crucial for building your brand. Create and improve brand communications and build marketing messages to increase brand awareness and visibility of brand and purpose.

Find and reach new markets and customers

We start with the offering, define a purpose and create a story your audience will believe - and love. Understand your segments and send the right message.
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Create and improve brand communications

Creating value with original ideas that capture opportunities to improve consistency, range and brand strength on a multi -channel strategy.
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Create a fresh and distinctive new brand identity

Encapsulating the essence and the aura, present and the future in the creation of logos, identity and creative assets.
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Reviewing the business data and strategy, we determine which actions need to be taken in support of attraction and engagement goals, while maintaining the connection and loyalty of your core base. Using research methods, including interviews, we develop a roadmap to identify new segments and craft messages that will align with their world views, and give us the insights to create or change the relationships and cause new prospects to consider adopting your offering.

Create and improve brand communications and build marketing messages to increase brand awareness and visibility of brand and purpose. If differentiation enables competitive positioning and strategy, distinctive messages and storytelling are crucial for building your brand.

Create a fresh new brand identity that is distinctive enough to be noticed in the crowd and that telegraphs the values of the business that your prospects anticipate and desire, based on research and applicable trends, in order to  reach new segments.

Communications

Opportunities and risks in equal measure abound here but brand communications is important. This phase of brand strategy should not be avoided but it should be planned on a multi channel basis and should always be configured to show off and celebrate your brand’s difference, value and unique attitude.

Click here to find out more about how we can help you with your brand comms or call us on 0208 191 9008.

As Sheryl Sandberg recently noted, brand success can be directly attributed to having the right creative message and story and should constitute a greater proportion of marketing efforts.

Marketing Campaigns

Engaging the position
Marketing Campaigns that go deeper

Your marketing campaigns have got to resonate. It has to make sense and it has to be targeted through a range of media with a sequence of messaging that gives your offering the best and multiple shots at success. It’s a key pillar of positioning and brand differentiation.
To put together the marketing campaigns that your business deserves, we start at the start, determining what you need as well as what you want and how to design a campaign of resonance that is responsive. We start with your business strategy and objectives and with stringent processes, creative team work and planning, we work with you to create a structured project that can deliver successful marketing campaigns.

As a new, small or mid size business, you may not want to spend to spend astronomical amounts, but whatever you spend, you will want to ensure that your investment is not misplaced and your marketing campaigns are effective and extensible. Iconify can help you create targeted and memorable multi-layered media marketing campaigns.

Businesses need Marketing campaigns for communicating and engaging with their target market to gain customers and to influence and convert them and then make them advocates. They help implement positioning strategy and are key to creating brand awareness, visibility and power, where it can help you own a position. Iconify can help you create your story and proliferate through all relevant media to reach your target segment in an overcommunicated marketplace.

 

Campaigns that cONQUER
Building Brand Engagement
Successful marketing campaigns need not be the most expensive, but must be the most thoughtful. They should be thought provoking, create authenticity and generate interest and desire. They should ideally enable participation. “Authenticity” has been growing as a marketing buzzword, and businesses are paying attention. Social media has been a pivotal platform to enable this, allowing real time  participation of customers and interested parties. Let’s help you explore how social media can be leveraged to access and influence your target segment without  making them feel they are being sold to .

Industry and Competitor Research

DRIVEN BY DATA
Research and Analysis

Homework and first things first, so industry and competitor research is critical. Thorough and honest analysis of your business will help immeasurably for targeting and positioning. First we establish your purpose, your current position and then we start to review how you meet customers needs.When we are across the core facts, we are now in position to begin competitor analysis. The overarching and guiding framework for this is obviously data on the industry and sector as a whole with a clear view on where you and your competitors currently fit.

We will help do the same analysis of competitors to gain a thorough understanding of who they are what they do and as far as can be ascertained, how they do it. We’ll help you do to the research to understand who the players are, what their objectives are and their resultant strategies as well as their capabilities. We apply traditional competitive position analysis to understand where possible power and opportunities lie.

This process of industry and competitor research will help to determine which strategies we should pursue for your business and even help to identify possible gaps in met needs, read possible opportunities in unmet needs.

Research

Data Analytics

Targeting

MARKET PENETRATION TOOLS
Targeting
Businesses must identify the people for whom their product should be a first choice. You find them then they see you!
Planned and organised targeting takes time and commitment but is very much worth the investment to set your brand apart in your audience’s perception. This is an opportunity to show the needs and wants that only your offering can meet in a particular way. Defining your business’ purpose and identity provides a psychological hook for target customers with how your business can meet their specific needs. It allows you to make a promise that emotionally as well as rationally connects you to your audience.

Summary of industry and competitor research

 

Business environments and brand status aren’t static. It is absolutely necessary to understand the industry and how it is changing. You need to put yourself in a position to make informed decisions about the direction in which the business should go and to understand your positional possibilities in the competitive landscape. These issues and more are the purview of industry and competitor research. The fundamental value in this process is learning enough to determine not just the strengths and weaknesses in your business but where the  opportunities and threats are and even whether there are opportunities in the threats. Are there changes you can adopt may yield robust returns?

Changing tastes, influences and lifestyles mean everything is a moving target.Good strategy is dependent on good data thoroughly analysed, properly interpreted. To launch new products or brand, or even new communications strategies, industry and competitor analyses are necessary to get clarity on what, who and where you should be targeting. To understand past and current trends in your industry and to help to anticipate demand and lifestyle trends and changes in your operating and economic environment. These act as a basis for decision making for long range planning and business strategy. These are complex processes and it makes sense to get help with it, especially skilled and independent parties to review sector and industry reports, paying attention to the currency and relevancy of the data  and profitability factors. It may be necessary to test or validate the data.

We can help you undertake competitor analysis allows you to review you competitors and their objectively definable competitive strategies and analyse their  strengths and weaknesses to help you pinpoint where your possible uniqueness lies or what needs to be changes in your product, ofFer, benefits and or message to stand out and be more competitive. Porter’s 5 forces is one of the key tools we use in this process. Competitor analysis helps to expose, using a wide lens the general assumptions and objectives as well as the limitations of competitors and can act as a guide to predict their behaviour – this is important to know how they will respond to your advances and incursions on the market. Kit Needham’s guide gives a good view the process outputs.

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