A lot of clients who first approach us for help with marketing are looking for ad hoc amplification of their messages, without first understanding what their messages should be. Most businesses have no real understanding of their Unique Selling Points, who their ideal target audience is, or what their winning competitive proposition should be. These are strategic problems that contribute to confusion in any marketing effort, making it an expense.
To ‘win’ in marketing and make it an investment rather than an expense, you need to completely understand your brand, what your customers want and who they are and should be. What makes your offering different and ultimately better than competitors is key. This cannot be successfully achieved in an informal or unplanned way. A thorough analysis of your standing in the marketplace, your product / service proposition (and your competitors) is needed first.
Without a carefully considered marketing strategy and full business review, your marketing endeavours are unlikely to generate the results you want. To make it an investment, a good strategy must sit behind marketing.
Gibsons was commissioned to support an iconic, Queensland owned manufacturing brand who had been experiencing year on year decline. Aggressive offshore product competition and a decision to by-pass a dealer network, had created a cost cutting strategy for a company that simply could not compete on price. The company was taken through a thorough Strategic Review Process which included comprehensive business analysis along with a rigorous customer research project. This review and research provided the insight and clarity to determine the most appropriate future direction and strategy for the business. The need to execute a repositioning strategy to rebrand the business as a premium product was determined, rather than the focus on cost cutting measures that were in place. This enabled the company to reclaim its market position.
A strategic review coupled with customer research can shed invaluable light on where your business is, and where it should be for success.
Successfully enabling a “premium” brand position is a very safe market position to hold. It means the company doesn’t have to compete on price but allows the brand to be the best it can be. Establishing “premium” positioning is well worth the investment.
To facilitate a “premium” brand position, rigorous and sensitive attention to both the visual and behavioural values of the brand are crucial to enable alignment with a high-end position. Brand design needs the expertise and experience of a qualified branding communications expert. A minimalistic “less is more” approach is taken to visuals, supported by a “luxury” or “premium” colour palette and professional photography. All marketing materials must follow the brand guidelines – consistency is essential and must rigorously be adhered to. All brand elements must speak to “quality”, have clean lines as well as superior legibility.
To oversee and manage the rebrand, Gibsons acted as the “agency” and assembled a team of experts across photography, branding, and copywriting. Gibsons brought its extensive marketing knowledge to execute on the repositioning and to ensure adherence to “premium” was established throughout. The importance and the “how to” of maintaining this brand identity was also planned. All too often we see a strong brand unravel over time as off-brand design elements creep in, and corners are cut. Without a strict adherence to brand guidelines, all the hard work and expense of setting up a successful and company specific brand identity can be undermined.
The results speak for themselves: sales rose from a $30,000 – $80,000 range per month, to $80,000 – $180,000 per month during our period of engagement. Also, a strong brand in a competitive marketplace with the “quality and premium” brand elements were maintained. If marketing investment and other initiatives continue at a similar intensity, a sales level of $3.6 million per year (from $1.8 million at the start of engagement with Gibsons) in 3 years while maintaining a 15% profit level is on track.
Find out more about the Gibsons Strategic Review Process and how it can benefit your business.