A brand goes beyond the marketing team – it is the sum of perception of all customer interaction with your company; direct or indirect. It involves everyone and everything that ever ‘communicates’ with a (prospective) customer including current customers, your actual product, advertising and communication, industry and government stakeholders, and everyone from the C-suite to the lowest ranks.
What Is The Brand?
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So the thing that a (prospective) customer picks up from all of this noise, the sum of all perception of your company, is the Brand. The Marketing Team are supposed to be the shepherds of that brand, the group that ensures a consistent and positive message that sells more of your product. So far the theory, in practice there are situations where a marketing team has the opportunity to shape a brand from the start based on sound insights and with an iron grip on execution, but that’s the exception to the rule. The situation most marketers find themselves in is an existing product and brand that can be tweaked around the margins.
So they do research; how do I tell a story that fits with existing brand perception, and the product, but spins it in a way that gets attention and new business? This is incredibly hard to do and takes a lot of time, not least because once a perception is stuck in a prospects mind it is almost impossible to change it; regardless of how much money you spend on advertising. There are also outside issues like the ‘halo’ effect of the country where you are based (a Swiss broker is going to feel different than a Cyprus broker) and the issue of much stronger competitors shaping marketing perception (No Dealing Desk being a prime example).
Part of this journey is also to be laser focussed when it comes to your target audience, and market your brand accordingly. All in all there is a lot to consider and account for as a Brand Shepherd, but once you see the disparate pieces come together and your entire company becomes a clear and easy to explain proposition; the results will be astounding.