#8 / diving deep into brand strategy: brand services and brand landscape

Today we are looking at Brand Services - that is the specific know-how, competencies and / or offers that you and your team bring to your audience. When assessing your Brand Landscape we identify where you stand in your brand effectiveness. What are you doing that is enhancing your brand? And what is reducing  it?

Let’s look at these two element of your brand, which not coincidentally, strongly affect the level of innovation you can bring as a company.  

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Brand Services

These specific skills, knowledge, abilities that you and your team offer can include any intellectual capital (proprietary processes, models, specific systems) that you create and name.

It is a way of going deeper into what makes your positioning strong by defining all those attributes that you can offer to your audience. They will provide you with the specifics of what makes you stronger, different, more innovative, efficient, etc.

For example a florist may have developed a new style, a new niche or may have come up with a different way to engage clients into buying flowers (online, subscription, entirely different ways of using them). Innovation can happen through processes, new markets, new uses.  We do not necessarily need to create entirely new products, but a different way of doing things can become an incredible advantage within your market.

Clarifying what your Brand Services are will allow you to make stronger, focused choices about where to spend your time, budget, prioritize projects and surround yourself with others that complement your own business or your own skills.

For example that same florist decides she wants to push a high-end online subscription sales specifically for residential clients. She will work to develop her shopping platform and make it both easy and secure for her clients. Her communication will speak to this client and be very specific about the benefits for this group a  well as the tone that relates best with them. Based on these decisions, it is easier to choose which channels are best to reach this audience or what kind of activities or events will generate better connections and conversions.

Make an inventory list of all the competencies you possess and the services you offer. Take each one and see if you can define them and articulate them more precisely.

In the case of one of our clients, an architectural designer, we looked at the skills that were specific to her or made her stand out from the rest: focusing on understanding her client’s space needs based on their life stage, finding special unique items that identify with her clients personality and needs, the ability to create the vision and facilitate the conversation between client and the different professionals in the field, collaborating closely with engineers, architects, contractors and builders so that the project runs smoothly. Finally her understanding of the emotional and logistical aspects that a home / a space has on people. Being a decisive and assertive point at the client side during the process, capturing their ideas, translating them into plans and design until the last element is in place.

Which is relevant here is  to understand what sustains our positioning through the different touch-points that we have with our client or in the way we do our work or provide our service. This process again helps us focus our energy and our resources on those things that are most important.

Brand Landscape

Doing this exercise always brings me back to my days in college, but this time the exercise is real and fun because we are exploring situations, trying to prepare for challenges or opportunities that may come our way. By trying to look at the most relevant factors that surround our industry, we can prepare, we can gain new skills, we can find a complimentary business partner, subcontractor or employee to help us be ready if a positive or negative situation arises. .

The method we use if the Brand SWOT, which stands for (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats)

  • Brand Strength - a quality or attribute that supports the brand

  • Brand Weakness - a quality or feature that is disadvantageous to the brand

  • Brand Opportunity - a circumstance that makes something possible for the brand

  • Brand Threat - something that can cause damage or danger to the brand


After identifying these SWOTs, the next step is to come up with a plan to improve the strong aspects and address the weaker points.

Strengths - Improve this by determining how you can get to the next level

Weaknesses - Identify the steps you can take to mend the cracks in your brand. Tweaking sometimes can solve the issue.

Opportunities - Taking advantage of the opportunities

Threats - is the category that requires immediate attention. This can widen into huge cracks rapidly. Addressing the threats usually requires more time and effort than just addressing the weaknesses

In the case of our architectural designer client, the industry landscape in her geographic location offers a very positive outlook for KMD given the disposable income and the growth in the real estate market and remodel market. However because of this there is also saturation in the field with many different competitors targeting the different services provided by KMD.

This calls for a very strong need for positioning and differentiation highlighting: 1) The architectural designer who understands clients needs for space based on their life cycle 2) Knowledge for sourcing unique and special items and 3) Strong architectural design experience

After doing this exercise we observed an interesting way to connect our client to the ideal audience by partnering with a group that moves in a similar industry. What is brilliant about and exercise like this, is that it methodically opens our minds to different perspectives and avenues for growth and innovation.

I hope you have found this latest newsletter useful and applicable to your own business. If you have any questions, feel free to reach out or write in the comment box.

Thank you for reading!

Alessandra

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