A construction executive I coach complained about a rebranding initiative undertaken by his company. He didn’t understand why his business unit was slapped with yet another corporate allocation for an initiative that did little to help him increase market share.
He said his company spent considerable time and money creating a new website and making small tweaks to the corporate logo. He proceeded to show me a collection of branded merchandise distributed to the leadership team, including crystal bar ware, stadium cushions, camping equipment, and leather notebook covers. He had a drawer full of tiny lapel pins that had been distributed over the years each time the logo was modified.
He was frustrated and confused. Like many executives I know, he saw no value in branding because the end product did not deliver the link between corporate promise and customer expectation.
Measuring Brand Value
Your brand is a tool used to cut through the noise in a marketplace full of companies who do the same thing. The primary purpose is to balance the objectives of the organization with your customer’s needs and expectations. Your business strategy and value proposition help build trust with your customers.
Businesses measure brand value by market share, margin, and goodwill. Yet each brand owner will assess these based on their individual objectives. For example, a non-profit may measure value as contributions, whereas a politician is likely counting votes. Social media influencers define value as likes or followers.
No matter how you measure value, if you don’t deliver value, it is an empty promise.
Branding is not about getting people to choose your solution over the competition’s. And it is certainly not about slick graphics and interactive websites. Think of your brand as the promise of an experience. One that is defined by your customer and delivered by you.
Branding is a fundamental piece of business strategy. The brand owner defines a realistic and manageable promise of what it will deliver and what the customer can expect. The most successful construction and engineering companies manage their customers expectations and condition them to see their offering as the only solution to a specific need. Bags of swag are not included.
Brand Reality Check
Brands are viewed from two perspectives – the business and its clients. We express our brand position through messages that cut through the crowded marketplace with carefully crafted brand signals that convey the meaning that differentiates our brand.
For construction and professional services firms, each product or service distinguishes itself allowing customers to identify their preferences from those they see a less desirable. When brand meaning and relevance are clear the brand will hold a stronger position in the buyer’s mind, and they are more likely to purchase.
Here is a little test you can apply to you own brand. Compare your brand expression – how your company communicates its value to customers, with your brand image – how your customers perceive or experience your brand.
When strategy and identity work as one, your brand obtains favorable and sustainable market positions. A strong brand pays dividends over the life of your company, enabling you to attract more customers, reduce your marketing costs, and command higher prices for your services. If you would like to learn more about how to build your construction brand, contact us for a free consultation. Click here to schedule a call
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