The importance of branding

The last quarter of 2014 holds many opportunities for businesses of all shapes and sizes. The economy is far more stable, there seems to be an appetite for business development across the country, interest rates are still incredibly low, there is lots of optimism in the housing market and the advent of digital media allows businesses to engage and interact with their audiences quickly and in a compelling and meaningful way. A rosy picture indeed.

Paul Bury, managing director, Sixtyeight.

With this backdrop of optimism it's crucially important for your business to be clear on its brand values, marketing strategy and exactly how you are going to achieve growth going forwards.

What exactly are brand values and why are they so important?

Your brand is the core of your business, it represents everything you are to your customers, suppliers and the audiences which you engage. It underpins all of your business activities and like it or not, whatever business you operate, how large or small you do have a brand and it's important you understand what this means and how you can design your brand to help you achieve your business objectives.

One of the best ways to define your brand values is to get a blank piece of paper and simply list what you feel are the attributes, feelings and emotions surrounding your product or service. Ask your management to do the same and also allow all of your employees the opportunity to comment as they are part and parcel of your brand too.

Be specific and be general at this stage and allow all relevant thoughts and emotions as you feel are appropriate as it's easier to refine once you have a starting point.

Once you have the list you can refine it. When it's complete immerse yourself in it, keep it visible and look at it every day (several times if you can) and allow it to be communicated throughout your organisation. You should find the whole process really interesting and exciting, after all they are the brand values of your business, if developed and communicated correctly could result in a very healthy top and bottom line!

The next phase of development is even more exciting as you explore what your perceived values are and how you would like to be perceived and consequently what changes you need to implement to achieve this.

Finally this will lead into the development of the marketing and communication plan which if executed correctly will result in business growth and a positive return on investment.

All too often this process is either neglected or handled badly. Furthermore Sixtyeight believe they are many design agencies who really have no understanding of what a brand actually is and how to go about developing one despite claiming they do. Not so at Sixtyeight, our experts possess over 25 years of experience and along this vast knowledge and experience pool also make use of techniques which help make the process so much easier - Mind Maps, SWOT analysis, PEST analysis and Brand House.

So in summary your brand values do hold the potential for a healthy bottom line. After all brands are the sum of your businesses attributes and when boiled down equate to trust, the more your customers trust your brand the more they will come back to 'buy it'. The more times they 'buy it' the more opportunities you have to generate profit. It's a fairly simple equation but one that has the potential to transform your business. Sixtyeight is a fully resourced design, marketing and branding agency. Operating from its East Lancashire headquarters the company has over 25 years experience within the marketing communication sector and is currently retained by several market leaders both in the UK and overseas.