To Brand or Not To Brand Isn’t the Question

Posted on Dec 20, 2010 by Kerry O'Malley

To Brand or Not to Brand Isn’t the Question


You would be amazed at how many well established industrial companies have never gone through the process of defining their value proposition or developing a brand strategy.  Too many industrial marketers think “brand strategy” is something that only the largest, B to C (business to consumer) companies need to be concerned with.  They’re wrong.  The reason they’re wrong, is because every company has a name that IS their brand, even if they never do anything strategic with it, at all.

To brand, or not to brand, isn’t the question. The question is: what do you want your company’s “brand” to stand for?  What image do you want in the mind of your customers and prospects when they think of your company?  You have the ability to influence that if you set out to.  Every touch point between your company and its customers and prospects becomes input to your brand’s image.  Either you manage your brand as a strategic asset, or your customers will manage it at random.  The way you choose to manage your brand is your BRAND STRATEGY.

Before you can attempt to develop a brand strategy, you need to have a thorough understanding and commitment to the value your company is prepared to offer its customers.  From the CEO, all the way down the ranks, that value commitment has to be lived out in every day to day interaction and communication with the marketplace.  The written statement of the exchange that takes place between your company and its customers, and how you are different from your competitors is your “value proposition.”

Without a value proposition, you have no foundation on which to build a brand strategy.  There will not be cohesiveness to your marketing messages.  There will not be clear agreement throughout your organization about the business exchanges that take place between you and your customers.  A value proposition clearly and concisely states the purpose for your company’s existence, and should be the mantra of every employee.

If you think developing a value proposition is a snap, think again.  If it were, you’d probably already have one.  That goes ditto for brand strategy.  Both of these all important marketing initiatives require data and knowledge about your industry, customers, competitors, and most importantly, your own company.  They require that you assess each of these areas without sentiment and without bias.  They require that you go through a process of documenting enough information so that you can analyze and then set forth a course that will be the basis for your company’s future.  Take the time and make the commitment.  It’s the difference between being a company that is constantly adjusting to the conditions of the moment, or a company that is purposely moving forward as it shapes its own destiny.

If you need help developing a value proposition or brand strategy, contact Kerry O’Malley at Marketects – or 281-360-1850.  Give us half a day and we’ll help you take your company to the next level.

Author: Kerry O'Malley

Marketects was founded in 1999 by Kerry O’Malley, a proven marketing communications professional in international, manufacturing companies. Working on the “other side of the desk,” she hired ad agencies to manage her employers’ advertising and P/R programs. Frustrated over the lack of attention and level of enthusiasm she was looking for in the marketing agencies she worked with, Kerry realized that there was a definite need for a full-service marketing firm that specialized in working with industrial companies. She resolved that her clients would always receive the highest level of service possible and never feel like the last kid chosen for the team.

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