81% of consumers say they need to trust a brand before investing in their services. In this session, we will discuss how staffing agencies can overcome their current branding and intentionally brand themselves to increase candidate engagement, client acquisition, and overall ROI.
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Presenter: Dion Pender (Managing Director, The Martin Group)
Branding is one of the most misunderstood areas of marketing. Is your brand your logo? Your tagline? Is it the “feeling” of a certain advertisement your company releases? Or maybe the design of your company website? In the final analysis, what exactly is a “brand” and how can you create one?
These questions are some of the most critical for any company to answer. As Steve Forbes once said, “Your brand is the single most important investment you can make in your business.” In this session, Dion Pender, Managing Director of The Martin Group, discusses what brand is and how staffing firms can create brands that yield results.
Brand as an Emotional Experience
The best way to think about brand is by considering it as an emotional experience. A company’s brand puts forth a certain “mindset” in every one of its customer-facing materials. This “mindset” will give a customer an opinion of a company, which functions as the company’s “brand.”
So what are these “customer-facing materials” that form the basis of your brand? The short answer is: everything. From your logo to your website’s navigability, to the way your employees dress to what you post on social media, brand is the aggregate impression your company gives.
Because brand is an emotional experience in the mind of the customer, it’s difficult to regulate. After all, you can’t control what others think. That said, you can invest in the impressions you put forth—and this is the beginning of “branding.”
Brand as Choice
One common misconception people have about branding is that brands must be unique. This is only half of the story. Brands must be unique only insofar as it helps the customer choose your brand.
Think about it: there’s nothing particularly unique about BMW as a brand. It’s just another car manufacturer. Where BMW’s brand gains leverage is that it’s different enough from its competitor, Mercedes. Ultimately, it’s about how customers choose a brand—not about how unique the brand itself is.
Remember: brand is about what we choose to own. It’s not a logical decision, but more of an emotional connection between customer and provider.
Another way to think about your brand is to develop a “brand promise.” A brand promise finishes these three statements:
- If you buy my brand…
- If you use my brand…
- If you experience my brand…
Any good brand promise communicates all three of these sentences in every customer-facing material it puts out. Here are a few major brands with their underlying promises.
Starting to Develop Your Brand Promise
Building a brand promise is a difficult task, but it’s one every company needs to do. To begin, think about your company as a person. What’s your personality? Are you warm and friendly? Maybe you’re clever and intelligent. Maybe you get straight to the point. Whatever the case may be, looking at your company in this context will help you understand where your brand lives emotionally.
To effectively develop a brand promise, some key things to consider are:
- What is your main value proposition?
- Who is your target audience?
- How do you connect with your target audience?
Remember: a brand promise is all about delivering a consistent customer experience no matter who the audience is. Meet your audience where they are and connect with them emotionally to make your brand resonant and memorable.
About The Martin Group
The Martin Group is a leading integrated communications firm headquartered in downtown Buffalo with offices in Rochester and Albany, NY. The firm works with best-in-class organizations ranging from small businesses to global enterprises and has extensive experience in several categories, including sports, health care, financial services, food and beverage, higher education, and not-for-profits.
With 85 associates and a growing client roster that includes brands like New Era Cap, ASICS, Under Armour, Wegmans, and M&T Bank, The Martin Group is continually focused on changing the way people think. Learn more about The Martin Group here.