Monthly Archives: July 2014

brandpromise

Branding Series (Part 2): Creating a Brand Promise

Note: This is the second article in a series on Branding from Creative Emporium. To read the first article, click here.

brandpromise

We live and breathe branding here at CE, so we’ve put together a four-part monthly blog series dedicated to the subject we love. This month, we’re talking brand promises – how to make them and communicate them. Our Managing Director, Darren, says there’s two ways of communicating them:

Be Bold

One way to communicate your brand promise is to be bold and make loud claims about your brand’s attributes and the benefits these deliver to your customers. This approach tends to rely on advertising and the strength of the brand to deliver the promise.

Be Subtle

The alternative is not to shout but whisper and then surprise customers by exceeding their expectations when they experience the brand.

But what is a brand promise anyway?

“There’s quite a lot of definitions”, says Darren. But my favourite is this:

A brand promise is the statement that you make to customers that identifies what they should expect for all interactions with your people, products, services and company.”

Sounds pretty simple, doesn’t it? But it’s more than just expectations and statements. For us, it’s about the benefits that brands try to associate with their products and services in their current and prospective customer’s minds. It’s about creating an experience that fulfils the brand promise.

It’s also about assurance, says Darren: “Assurance that as a customer, you will always receive a certain level of service as a result of your relationship with the brand.”

It also needs to be supported from the top down. As with other statements of direction such as Vision or Mission statements, management must create the brand promise, own the brand promise, and relentlessly drive it to completion. The brand promise should drive all of the company’s actions and investments in people, processes, products, technology and delivery channels.

Interestingly, Richard Branson believes the Virgin brand promise is based on five key factors:

  • Value for money,
  • Quality,
  • Reliability,
  • Innovation and
  • an indefinable, but nonetheless palpable sense of fun.

So, how do you make like Virgin and create your brand promise?

To start creating your brand promise, sit with your team and ask yourselves these questions:

  1. What is your commitment to your customers?
  2. What value can they consistently rely on your brand to deliver?
  3. Discuss what first attracts and then causes your most profitable customers to remain loyal to your brand
  4. If necessary, use a customer satisfaction survey analysis or other research techniques to determine these
  5. And ask yourself: What barriers stop your target audience responding positively to your brand promise (and buying your product)?
  6. Which touch points must communicate your brand promise? Think: website, literature, customer service, and so on

Then use this information to define your brand promise.

Your Tagline = Your Brand Promise

A tagline or strapline, can also be the brand promise of a brand – and is commonly referred to as so. Some great examples include:

  • Nike – Just Do It
  • Apple – Think Different
  • BMW – The ultimate driving machine
  • HSBC – The world’s local bank
  • Tesco – Every little helps
  • L’Oreal – Because you’re worth it

The important thing to note is that your tagline shouldn’t be a set of meaningless words that sit alongside your logo – these words should function in service to your brand promise. They make a claim and set customer expectations.

Creative Emporium – Complete Branding Solution (See what we did there?!)

We’re experts in providing the complete branding solution for our clients, so please get in touch today to discuss your branding requirements and how we can help you ensure that your brand promise is reflected at every touch point – from your promotional products through to your corporate clothing and website, we can help you. Call us on 08707 500057 or drop us a line by email.

We’d love to hear your own thoughts and examples of brands who you think have a great brand promise, so why not leave us a comment below?

 

 

 

brandvalues

Branding Series (Part 1): Creating Brand Values

brandvalues

We live and breathe branding here at Creative Emporium, so we’ve put together a four-part monthly blog series dedicated to the subject we love. This month, we’re talking brand values. You know – those things that your brand stands for, that really sum-up your brand. But how do you go about creating brand values? Our Marketing Manager Hannah says it all about knowing where to look for inspiration…

What are brand values anyway?

Put simply, they are words and qualities that describe your brand. But they have an emotive attachment – they’re not measurable or tangible, but more important for providing reassurance and credibility for customers and making the brand attractive to your target audience, to help guide customers’ buying decisions.

Why do you need brand values?

Your company’s brand is a combination of attributes such as the tangible (physical) corporate image/identity which can include your logo, colour scheme, slogans/straplines, and typeface – which are the things customers recognise and can easily identify with your company. Your brand also includes the intangible attributes such as your personality and values. These all work together to position your brand in the minds of your target customers and give them a reason/motivation to use your products and services. And with a strong brand, you build credibility and have more influence on your market.

Where to look for inspiration…

If you want to develop your brand values, there are a few things you can do to find inspiration. Your brand values should constantly evolve to suit your customers and the market that you operate in, and should also reflect your vision and business strategy. When considering how you wish to develop your brand values, consider what invisible feelings you want your brand to convey? Have a team brainstorm and discuss what makes people respond positively to your products and services without them necessarily knowing why.

How to make brand values work

Once you’ve established what your brand stands for and the words which you will use to describe your values, it’s crucial that your customer experience reflects these values in every aspect of your business. So you need to customise each element of your marketing mix to live up to your brand values – this includes your people and how they behave and deliver customer service, your product lines, your communications messages, and even the way you handle complaints. Building a respected brand can take a lot of hard work and you’ll need the commitment from your employees to make it happen.

Intu – an example of brand values

intu logo for print

 

 

 

Intu own some of the UK’s best and well known shopping centres such as the Trafford Centre in Manchester and Lakeside in Thurrock, and is one of our apparel clients, as we developed their entire uniform range (view case study here). Whilst working with them it was important that we provided them with a clothing solution to match and reflect their brand at every touch point. As a retail brand this is crucial, because there are so many consumer touch points to consider – from customer service personnel through to cleaning and maintenance.

Intu has three main brand values which they use to help deliver their brand promise of “creating joy” and “making people smile”:

Creative

We see the familiar and notice something different. We’re insightful. We’re imaginative. But we don’t let it get in the way of what’s important.

Bold

We act confidently and decisively, always knowingly, perhaps at times controversially, but never rashly or without consideration.

Genuine

We’re true to ourselves. We act fairly and we communicate clearly. We honour our obligations to our stakeholders and to society. We always say what we mean and we always mean what we say.

Intu’s employees know the values of the company and this influences the way they communicate with customers:

  • What they write or say is creative, easy to read and understand, simple and concise
  • When they talk to customers they try and engage in a genuine way, making it as pleasurable an experience for both parties

Visit the Intu website to see how these values are expressed through words and pictures, and if you get chance to visit one of their shopping centres, have a look at how their brand values are delivered at every touch point with customers.

We’d love to hear your thoughts and examples of brands who you think are doing it well, so why not leave us a comment below?

Complete Branding Solution

We’re experts in providing the complete branding solution for our clients, so please get in touch today to discuss your branding requirements and how we can help you ensure that your brand values are reflected at every touch point – from your promotional products through to your corporate clothing and website, we can help you. Call us on 08707 500057 or drop us a line by email.

More about the author:

Hi I’m Hannah and I’m the Marketing Manager here at Creative Emporium. I’m known by my teammates as the “organised one”, as I’m always on the ball chasing updates and ensuring everything gets finished around here! I’m a Cheshire native, but I’ve been in Yorkshire for over ten years now, as I studied marketing at Huddersfield University and loved it here. My day job includes sharing my marketing support between our lovely clients and the marketing of the company. When I’m not writing blog posts or reading The Drum or Marketing Week, I’m also involved with project managing all CO3 projects and writing tender submissions. Out of work, I’m a bit of a film and movie buff, so people love having me on their team at a pub quiz.

Connect with me:  +44 (0) 113 3865 574          hannah@creativeemporium.co.uk           Link in with me

personal

Technology has empowered marketers to personalise messages and communicate with customers on a one-to-one basis, on a scale that is commercially viable. This has driven the dramatic development of direct and email marketing, reshaped how we target and segment markets, stimulated dialogue, brought about a raft of new strategies and challenged the conventional approach to mass marketing and branding techniques.

We’ve written a previous post on personalisation in marketing; why not give it a read here.

 Building customer relationships

Personalisation should be an integral aspect of relationship marketing, especially in business-to-business markets. But, the degree of personalisation will inevitably vary over the duration of your customer life cycle and become more intimate as your customer relationships mature.

So how can you make your customers feel special and reward them with that personal touch?

 

Personalised branded merchandise is a good place to start. Simply putting your corporate logo on a promotional item doesn’t cut it with today’s savvy customers. Customers want more. Personalisation that goes beyond just greeting someone with their first name in an email is one of the major marketing trends of the last year, and at Creative Emporium, we’re at the forefront of this change with our innovative CO3 system.

With CO3, we can build an effective, bespoke, branded online ordering system and website where your customers can order your branded merchandise from. These online ordering systems are hugely popular with our clients in various sectors, from retail to B2B, but especially in the University sector – such as with our clients London Business School and University of Manchester – where we have helped them launched Graduation websites that sell branded University merchandise such as iPhone covers, Hoodies, iPad covers etc.

 

Students can upload their own name and photo via their bespoke CO3 website, and purchase one of these items that has been completely personalised for them. This creates long lasting brand awareness and a great memory for your customers (or students) to take away from their experiences with your brand.

 

Benefits of Personalisation in marketing:

  • It improves customer engagement
  •  It improves the customer experience with your brand
  • It improves customer loyalty and retention
  • It creates long lasting brand awareness

Complete Branding Solution

We’re experts in providing the compete branding solution for our clients, so please get in touch today to discuss your branding requirements and how we can help you ensure that your brand is getting personal with your customers – from your promotional products through to your corporate clothing and website, we can help you. Call us on 08707 500057 or drop us a line by email.