Have you ever noticed that people prefer to buy a bottom of the range 3 series rather than a top of the range focus? As much as people deny it, image matters..
Image is so important..when your building a brand it affects everything you do as a company..ultimately with a brand, in the customers eyes 2+2 must equal 4..
As a brand we stand out because we're different, we innovate, and we're not afraid to try something new..but so many people fail to understand that its not just the obvious things like a brochure that need to match your brand.. its everything, right down to the clothes you wear and the cars you drive... if your brand says your different.. so must everything you do.
I never fully understood that when I started out, I thought if you had the best products at the best prices then you would succeed regardless.. with the benefit of hindsight I can't stress enough how vitally important reaffirming your image at every stage is..if you sell designer bathrooms, you need to look like a designer.
So many organisations have a brand image these days that is presented to the customer initially, but isn't replicated in their after care service, or in how they deal with their own staff. In order to ensure that our brand image is addressed right throughout the company, I have started to split Dovcor up into four component parts, linked by a central communication system.
We now have operations, design, sales and branding departments, run by their own managers. Thanks to our new central communication system, each department could theoretically operate anywhere in the world and still maintain the same level of communication as if they were in the same office.
You will notice there isn't a sales and marketing department in this set up. While a well thought out marketing strategy is vital to a successful sales drive, personally I believe a true salesman is good at sales, not necessarily designing a brochure and creating a brand. Maybe the reason branding often never filters from sales through to the rest of the company is because it is created by a sales department for sales reasons, preventing the rest of the company to really take ownership of it.
I think in the past, too many companies have seen branding as a way of enhancing current sales, rather than as a mechanism to define an organisation as a whole.
By putting the branding into the hands of someone else, branding becomes a tool for the sales team to use just as before, but as a tool in its own right, it can be applied to other departments as well.
The key to successfully applying a brand to the organisation therefore becomes an issue of communication, not an issue of ownership.