Let’s start with the basics.
What is a brand, and misconceptions about branding?
We have to be clear about what a brand is. Because there is a misconception about what a brand is. According to dictionaries, a brand is; “a name, term, design, symbol or any other feature that identifies one seller's good or service as distinct from those of other sellers.” But is so? At least is that all about a brand? First of all, a brand is what you mean for your customers. Branding is far beyond a fancy name or a well-designed logo. Branding is not exposing your logo or products. Branding is a 360-degree approach. It covers all interactions between your business and your customers. It is not only products, it is also emotions you ignite in them. Branding is your promise to your customers.
The second biggest misconception is, only big brands need branding. This is a very common misconception among SME owners. If you think you don’t need a brand consultant just because your business is small, you need to think twice. It will even create more value for you to fight with the competition.
Branding defines your personality as a business. Branding helps you to sell your products or services to your target customers. Your brand touches your customer at different points with a certain experience. Your strategy and position define how this experience should be designed.
What a brand consultant does?
A brand consultant will analyze your brand with all aspects. Sometimes, your consultant designs your brand from the scratch. A brand consultant will consider below titles:
Your communication, your response to competition, how you transmit your messages to your customer, your position, your brand and customer experience, your product range, your prices, your marketing strategies, online and offline, your brand image, your brand identity, how your customers perceive your brand… and many other aspects.
S/he will design your brand strategy considering all necessary subjects and in line with each other for your business to succeed.
Why your brand message is so critical?
It is vital for your business that your customers understand your brand correctly. If there is a gap between the message you want to give with the customers’ perception of your brand, then it is not likely your brand will succeed. It means your brand image and brand identity doesn’t fit each other. This affects the expectation of your customers. If you create wrong expectations, you won’t be able to make your customers happy and satisfied.
Another important point is how you position your brand. If you are targeting mass, you need a different strategy than if you define yourself as a premium or luxury brand. This positioning will have an impact on your overall brand experience in all aspects.
Reasons to work with a brand consultant
#1 Objective snapshot of your brand
As the consultant is not on your payroll, he or she will make a more honest and precise analysis of your brand. Because he is independent of internal politics and can tell you the truth openly about what works and what doesn’t in your company.
#2 Saves you time and money
As the consultant is an expert in the area, with valuable insights, s/he will create an impact that saves time and money for your business. A successful consultant is always up to date with the latest trends and changes in the business environment, with his/her hands-on experience, your consultant help you not to make some mistakes or how to deal with unexpected situations.
Another cost-saving option is, benefiting a consultant’s time and expertise only how much you need. It can be significantly costly to hire a full-time person with your consultant’s competencies, and sometimes even if you pay this cost you can’t convince them for a full-time job. But with a consulting option, you can benefit from all these competencies at a fraction of a full-time employee cost if you consider all benefits. Your consultant’s added value to your business will pay his fee multiple times so his/her services will be actually free. You simply benefit from the years of experience and know-how of an expert with consulting services.
#3 Opens new horizons
Your brand consultant can give you very unique and out of the box ideas after analyzing your capabilities and can bring you to a new level. With his advice, you can create new business and revenue opportunities. Your consultant also finds ways to build an excellent brand that you always imagined to have. In some cases, your consultant will tell you why you imagine differently.
#4 Designs you the customer experience you should have
As we mentioned before, a consultant considers many different aspects of your business. While considering these aspects, your business is in interaction with your customers at many touchpoints. A brand must provide a certain service level at each touchpoint. Your overall brand and customer experience will be as strong as your weakest touchpoint. It should be a seamless experience throughout the journey.
#5 Talks the same language with your service providers
In business, you are working with several service partners to make your business smooth like agencies, other consultants or designers. Your consultant will understand what they say easily, and respond to them in their terminology and mindset. Your consultant will also coordinate all stakeholders and ensure they all work for the same big goal in the right direction.