Branding Advisor

Realise your vision with a Brand Advisor that can see the Whole Picture.

A brand advisor that can strategise for growth, ideate for design and brand identity from naming to assets, and has the skill set not just to identify capability gaps but also to execute, is increasingly the brand advisor the business owner of today needs.

Great brands are resonant. They inspire your imagination, capture your heart and you’re your love and loyalty.

They live out distinctive narratives redolent of purpose to ensure profit is guaranteed. From positioning statements to messaging to social media and content marketing, the list is long and growing but your business is one and needs to stay integral. This is the value that the right Brand Advisor brings.

Chinenye

Chinenye Ikwuemesi is a transformation expert and branding strategist and advisor. Founder of Iconify, she is passionate about creating brands that captivate hearts and minds and leverage loyalty and building creative brands with capability. Iconify, her company, is dedicated to empowering entrepreneurs and business owners to create brands with heart that make a sustainable impact that goes beyond the visual.

Chinenye has worked with brands to transform their business capability, internal brand models and culture, designing branding and strategy solutions to elevate their presence and position in the market. She believes in bridging the creative and capability through strategy.

She helps businesses, as a brand advisor, to envision or reimagine how to determine and present their brand,  engage with their audiences and influencers.

A natural and unique creative she provides creative direction for design and strategy and an extensive skillset in uplifting capability and enabling business transformation. If you’re looking for a brand naming advisor, Chinenye can help to create memorable names and strategies to fill them with meaning.

As a brand advisor, Chinenye can help establish, position or pivot your existing brand and understand and consider the blockers to success.

Iconify

An exciting team of highly skilled and experienced individuals who together bring an exceptional blend of expertise to create authentic and robust brands that translate across channels and cultures to resonate with the people for whom your business exists.

It doesn’t matter where you are, we work remotely and can be virtual brand advisors. Iconify runs the gamut of branding and can work as Brand Naming Advisors, Branding Design Advisors and Brand Strategy Advisors, dependent on your needs. We love small and medium-sized businesses and have unique insights into the challenges they face – and how to address them.

Unlock brand love and loyalty - work with me

 

Unlock Brand Love and Loyalty – Work with me

You need a brand advisor if you have a new product to bring to market, a new service to promote and competitors that are doing the thing better than you are. You need me if you can be honest about your business and your current limitations and you want to give yourself the best chance to compete successfully. You need a brand strategist if you know digital is critical but there is still so much to do. You need a brand advisor if you’ve stopped being excited but you haven’t stopped loving the business or its success.

I work with owners and entrepreneurs who need someone to come alongside them to provide a new, clear and strategic perspective and inject creativity and excitement into the process. I can help you identify and define in detail a roadmap for building and equipping the brand and business in an aligned way.

Get help with services that can help you unlock the best direction to take your brand in, with services including:

  • Brand Development including positioning, presentation and perception
  • Brand Naming, Verbal Branding and straplines
  • Brand Identity Design and branding considerations
  • Brand Concept
  • Brand Marketing
  • Brand storytelling
  • Brand message development
  • Brand imperatives and positioning

Process

 

Brand Discovery

Identify the most important goals aligned to purpose, position and profit.
Identify the roadmap and capability required to realise the brand vision as well as business goals.
Identify blockers along the people, processes and practices axes.

Brand Strategy

With clarity on your brand personality, proposition, people and position, your brand advisor will start to work on how to attain the sought after position and set up precursors for those.

Identity Development

With confidence in what the brand should represent and who we are, we work on an all-encompassing identity that for all uses across channels and determine what elements should underpin or accentuate it, for example, verbal or audial taglines

Change and Risk Map

We help your business to identify opportunities for partnerships and promotion based on analyses and compile a list of brand risks and mitigations,

Who we’ve worked for

King and Spalding pub project
Twinings Project
Bobou Beauty Launch
Audi Project

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,

Excellent CX as Reputation Management Strategy

Why Strategic Customer Experience is a Gift for Reputation Management 

While studying for my first degree, the theme of better customer service (not customer experience yet!) was a recurring theme, concerning earning customer loyalty and market share, although not so much explicitly in the context of reputation management. There was a massive upsurge in the 90s of paying lip service to customer service as a competitive vehicle. That ethos seems to have waned considerably as service seems to be decaying in places we used to expect it, and yet it’s never been more important.

These days, the focus goes, rightly, beyond customer service to consider the entire Customer Experience, how the customer or client of your business experiences all of the elements that make up your brand at every stage of any transaction with your company. These transactions accrue into positive building blocks for favourable brand reputation and strategic reputation management. Identifying all the touchpoints your customer can possibly have with your brand, products and staff and having a strategy for influencing and planning how every interaction is handled is the very essence of it. I think of CX as CXE – Customer Experience and Engagement because the opportunity for engagement, to get information, feedback and ideas from the customer are where the magic really happens.

Why Leaders show care about Client and Customer Experience

We build brands to differentiate but also to build a reputation, against which hopefully a premium can be applied and repeat custom and advocacy can be extracted. The brand sets itself up, makes a promise, delivers it, delights and builds and reinforces a reputation for quality, reliability and other great things. More than ever the opportunities that lie in fostering and nurturing great customer experiences should not be squandered. With more choice than ever available to customers in some domains, CX is ever more relevant and the thinking behind how CX is implemented can make it transformational. It can make it a gift for reputation management.

Transactional to Transformational Thinking – the value of CX

Transactional thinking would limit the scope of CX. Clients and customers when purchasing are not purely acting on calculated algorithms for buying into an offering. There is a great deal going on in hearts as well as minds. However, viewed logically, the purest person to person service element, usually post a purchase or immediately preceding it, and generally as an aid to that sale, actually occurs quite deep within the relationship/purchase funnel. The added value is in everything else leading up to the sale, and after that, you ideally want to exercise some influence over. You want to have the privilege and access of speaking into the spaces either side because when you factor in desirable brand love and loyalty, it’s instructive that conversion does not end with the person who has bought, as they can help you convert others. This is the power of favourable reputation and an opportunity for reputation management.

 

why cusomer experience is a priority for business leaders

The goal of CX is delight – attract, engage, nurture and delight

Putting CX at the heart of Projects

Leaders and staff should have a clear view of their roles and responsibilities in sustainably and successfully delivering customer experience (CX), but it should be ultimately driven by brand strategy. CX can be the arbiter of your brand values and perception. Bearing out and translating the purpose and the values the business espouses through CX buttresses and validates your customers’ perception of your business. Reputation Management starts here. Credit is gained and credibility advanced that indemnifies a brand in terms of sustainable brand reputation and reputation management. Now, it’s been my experience through numerous Change Programmes, that there is generally limited consideration of the programme’s risks and impact to the brand and the business’ ability to consistently meet customer and clients’ expectations. This is because they are often driven entirely by internal, operational factors, external triggers tend to be obligations to and duress from regulators and monitors but I believe customer experience is an equally legitimate driver. Reputation Management is not something that’s only addressed in the event of an adverse event, like savings, reputations must be shored up against rainy days.

I think this should change. Even when it isn’t the causal factor for a programme, it absolutely should be part of the standards and metrics by which that programme is deemed a success. It, therefore, follows that demonstrable improvements to the processes and operating models delivering high-quality customer experience, or at the very least, strong evidence that it is not put at risk or degraded, should form a primary part of the business case.

If projects were incepted with an eye on the customer and transformation focused on making things better for customers and staff, that is if PEOPLE were actually valued and central to the impetus for projects, very possibly, less oversight might be needed as businesses would be policing themselves according to their own stated purpose and values. Hmm!

So…..where is the problem? What could go wrong? Ahhhh, yes. Of course.

When there is no visible commitment to those stated values.What an indictment that is on the way we do business – it means that whenever a customer’s experience of your brand fails to bear out your values, you may be seen as only paying lip service, as inauthentic. The worst of it, of course, is that your customers can see and sense the disconnect. Of course, they can, they get it a sense of it through the entire experience! That’s it – the whole point.  If you are talking about customer experience but not really considering satisfaction of customers and motivation of those who deliver the services that form the experience, you are just paying lip service to customer experience, much the same as people did in the 90s. And your customers can tell!

Reputation Management - Secure your brand's reputation through exceptional customer experienceCX Matters

If you don’t think this matters, I give you Aldi and Lidl. If the leading supermarkets were listening, they would have known and acted on the customer data that Aldi and Lidl have exploited, as Tesco have only just recently started to do hence this update to the blog. It’s taken several years to mount this offensive, but apart from anything else, the customer experience at Tesco was obviously not sufficient to sustain the custom of those with an option to go elsewhere. Tesco’s reputation has also suffered considerably in the past decade an effort to refocus on customer needs might have aided their reputation management. As it was, it appeared to make them more vulnerable to incursions by the challengers.

Other sectors are not exempt. The banking sector sees challenger banks popping up. I give you Tide and Monzo, reported to have deep satisfaction amongst customers. They are starting with a commitment to the customer experience and meeting needs that the existing banks do not, even though they say they want to. It’s amazing when you think about it.

So, dear business case owners, sponsors, C-suite people, transformation programmes should not lead to a deterioration in staff morale and customers’ perception of the brand. Therefore, business strategy and change should absolutely have dependencies on your business brand imperatives and benefits realisation must be within the context of meeting or exceeding customer brand expectations. Even if it is not the causal factor for the programme, it should be in there somewhere! There should be, on every programme board and Steering Committee and Executive Committee etc., somebody who has responsibility for Brand Standards and CX. There, I have just created that brand new role. Feel free to use it because it’s critical, now more than ever, to focus more on people – both in and out – and ultimately serve your brand better.

Brand Development for Professional Services Companies

Brand Development for Professional Services Companies

Brand creation and development for professional services businesses and B2B businesses, whether small or medium size is nothing short of competitive strategy and should be approached with the same focus. Strategic research and positioning are key. Research shows differentiation, especially in hard economies, is far tougher for professional services firms and the drive to create a brand is really about survival, as much as anything else. Creative brand design. Innovative business consulting. Iconify combine these elements to deliver effective brand development for professional service companies and SMEs. With the goal of building resonant and responsive brands fit for ever-changing competitive and technologically dynamic modern business landscape, our brand services run the full gamut of solution provision that a new business would need to make a splash or that an established one could utilise to renew, rejuvenate or extend their market position and perception. Brand development for professional service companies is just as important for small or new businesses as it is for those who are scaling or larger and transforming.

Our brand development strategies for professional service companies encompass a range of services that make building your brand as much about gaining and using insights as it is about building the image desired, based on those insights. Services defining your brand’s purpose and values, identity, using ideation for brand naming processes and the creation of strong straplines and collaborative idea generation for marketing and brand communications. We are highly creative and combine this with strategic vision and expertise in branding and design, and leverage the input of cross-functional teams.

 

The challenge and thrill of creating a new brand is one big reason we really love the work we do. Uncovering of layer after layer of possibility and the fresh opportunities it presents for expression and differentiation is something we never get enough of and why we really love the brand development process.
The journey to make a lasting statement about your brand and creating a successful brand starts with an idea but the purpose of the brand starts with your product or service offering. We work to pinpoint the relevant market segment and identify their unmet wants and needs in order to articulate a strong offering and pitch your brand’s value. Your brand’s message should encapsulate that value in emotional and benefit terms.

Brand development and brand creation for professional services companiesDifferentiating your Professional Services Business is more important than ever before.

Brand development for professional services is critical in these times. The professional services field is characterised by homogeneity in messaging, promise and identity.  All firms promise the same things, ‘value, great service, trustworthiness’ but appear interchangeable. Unique brand positions are notoriously difficult to come by in the professional services sector and a differentiated brand, especially post COVID19 and the depressed global economy is more important than ever.

Why should your professional services business create a brand?

If it’s hard for brands to tell what is wonderful about your business and why you are absolutely the right company for them, you are not sufficiently differentiated. This is especially difficult for professional services businesses. To be seen, heard and felt, your business needs to create a brand. It is absolutely necessary. You need messages and statements that make your company stand out and stand for something for your clients. The answer, undoubtedly, is to create a brand. To create a brand means to take your purpose and the core attributes and assets of what you offer and create a construct that can be embedded in your clients’ minds and perception, as the place to go to solve their problems because you understand them but you have the something extra they need. The ‘brand’ does that heavy lifting and brand creation is critical to the competitiveness of your professional services company right now.

Businesses were just regaining stability post the 2008 crash and here COVID19 has razed hard-won gains to the ground, seemingly overnight, opportunities are much harder to come by. Trust is harder to earn yet business leaders who still need services need to hear messages and promises that resonate and that they can trust.

We can help you identify the primary attributes that can be woven into your brand story and promise based on your purpose. Yes, purpose. We can help you discover and identify what that purpose is, and with that purpose, we can help you differentiate. We can help you create those resonant messages your clients need to hear. 

There’s a difference that’s going to move the needle. It’s our job to help you find it, name it and project it. The right start is to create a brand.

Brand Development

A key outcome of the brand development process is defining positioning, the space you want to occupy on the competitive field and in your clients’ minds. Are you an indispensable implementation partner or occupy a trusted advisory role? Positioning claims your uniqueness as a professional service firm in a way that is practical and ambitious.

Your brand’s personality and voice are critical factors of brand development for a professional services brand, that can be approached once the purpose of your company is clear and principles and positioning are established and viable. This brand voice and personality will define the nature of the messaging in the communications that your company sends to ensure it is consistent as well as resonant. Are you rebellious or quirky, serious or playful?

Brand Strategy

Part of the process of brand development for a professional services brand is developing a brand strategy, which simply put, is the strategy your business will use to compete once it is clear what the differentiated attributes of the brand are and what it means for your brand’s position. Clarity on this fully informs the messaging adopted because your position must be based on the stated or implied needs – met or unmet – that your prospective clients have. 

Brand Communications

With the strategy in place, we work on your core messages. Core messages are a set of core messages mapped back to your purpose and positioning that can be aimed at all your company’s target segments and from which scenario-specific messaging can be derived. These core messages are decomposed into more specific messages for the specific segments. This helps maintain consistency and authenticity.

Content Communications as Strategy

Google has changed its algorithms in how it serves data to the whole world. In and out of work, we are all buyers and that includes prospective clients. They understand that Google is in the big data business – serving content to people who want to be educated and informed, people who want value from everything they choose to click on. Content Marketing is one of the key strategies that professional services companies use to reach their clients. However, clarity on strategy – brand voice and personality, is crucial to using content correctly because it is easy to fall into the sameness trap when what is required is to make meaningful connections.

The brand of a professional services firm must build lives in the mind, associations and in the perceptions and conclusions of your target clients, reinforced by the right message and identity. In order to truly differentiate, your professional services company needs a well thought through brand strategy, based on which your visual brand identity and message may be crafted. All brand assets must have a purpose and the brand identity must be designed with the aim of eliciting rational and emotional responses that will represent what the brand means to your clients.

What's the Big Idea?

Ideas are catalysts for the deployment of huge potential, especially when it comes to brand creation. Finding the idea that encapsulates your difference and ambition for your brand, that can engender brand passion and has the stamina to stay sustainable, is precious.  It’s also central to building your brand. The ability for that idea to be easily expressed is also important but the process needs to be accessible and done in as open a manner as possible. We focus on the big picture, the concept and the mission to describe it visually as well as literally, in order to touch and move, influence and inspire or provoke and divide.

Ideas. They could be where we start but they are never where we finish.

Get started with brand development

The first step is the hardest but we are here to hold your hand.

Verbal Branding, Straplines and other Stories

We help you coin the phrase for your purpose and name your meaning. The phrase your customers recognise, the short text string that speaks volumes to so many. Once we get your purpose, and we capture the essence of your target segment, we encapsulate your brand’s meaning in words will form part of a generation’s lexicon. It’s everything you want to stand for and be known for. We believe in storytelling as a great tool for getting to the heart of your target audience, one that will captivate and convince them. It’s a core element of brand development.

Be heard with our verbal branding
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brand rehabilitation and positioning, reclaiming your business's creibility and reputation

New Brand Creation, Naming and Storytelling

Establish emotional connections through purpose and USP, then activate it through a seamless multi-channel journey.
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bulls eye for the brand creation process

Research and Positioning

Conduct wide ranging industry and competitive research and use analytics for targeting and positioning for your offering, then provide marketing & messaging clarity.
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Strategic Analyses and Insights

Analysis of USP , market dimensions to determine positional opportunities, threats, strengths and weakness, and identify gaps, insights and new methods.
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Speak to the people you serve, whioever they are spark emotion, make a statement, have a deep impact through design that speaks not just to who you are but who your customer is

Strategic and Creative Branding

The process of translating values and image to a strong and compelling identity in a a way that shows and solidifies your position and recognition
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