Whether you’ve just launched or spent years building your brand, much of the good work can be undone or constrained by poor planning and application. 

We see so many missed opportunities, particularly among brands and companies that have worked so hard to gain a reputation for quality and service. 

Our heart sinks every time a decent brand or business opts for sticking their logo on the cheapest pen, sign or website. Or when they exhibit at a trade show with just a couple of pop-up banners, a table and two representatives who look more like bouncers than customer-facing brand ambassadors. They may believe it makes them look shrewd but externally they just look like their efforts – boring and cheap!

Part of our role is to advise and support businesses by coming up with and expertly executing clever and unusual ideas for building their brand. But rarely do they listen. Is it a trust issue? Some will do nothing with it, while others will compromise and cheapen the idea only to complain later that it didn’t work. Obviously it’s the idea that was bad and not the poor execution, right?

The few that commit fully to our ideas are the ones which have really benefited in the past. Our back catalogue demonstrates what happens when a client trusts and invests in our ideas. These are the ones that seize the moment and opportunity, planning and achieving greater awareness and engagement with their target customers. 

With that in mind, here are the 3 main recommendations to businesses and in-house marketers…

1. Budget better
It’s all too easy to think of marketing as an expense or overhead. In truth, marketing should be treated more as an investment with a long-term perspective. Think of the bigger picture. Budgeting time and money properly will result in better impact and returns from your efforts. Knee-jerk or last minute marketing initiatives rarely work and can be a huge waste of time and money.

2. Less is more
Do fewer things better, don’t spread budgets or timescales too thinly. It’s tempting to try and get the most from marketing budgets by focussing on volume rather than quality. For example, instead of buying loads of cheap pens with your logo on (most of which will either stay in the office cupboard or be discarded by the recipient because they don’t value them), consider something more useful and high quality. OK, so you won’t be able to buy as many of these items as pens, but item retention will be much higher, meaning your branding has much greater exposure with your target audiences.

3. Act on the advice
Why is it business owners hire experts in their respective fields, but instead of listening and trusting them end up telling them what to do? Apart from being insulting and detrimental to the relationship, where is the value? Why would you ask an expert for help, only to then tell them to do something different.  

We understand it can be a leap of faith sometimes, especially when it comes to marketing. But then why would a branding or marketing agency want to make you look stupid? Their reputation is just as important to them and they want to do a good job for you. Plus, they are more aligned to the external audiences of your business, so next time they come to you with a considered and creative idea, grab it with both hands and see what happens. It’s easy and human nature to think ‘what if this goes wrong?’ but what if it goes right?  It could be the opportunity that takes you and your business to the next-level.