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Branding is the foundation on which your company’s reputation and customer loyalty are built. A well-known, well-liked brand is critical in our highly-competitive marketplace. Part of building and sustaining coveted brand strength is a clear-minded understanding of your company’s strengths and weaknesses.
Brand strengths encompass the value your company delivers to your customers. Your strengths are your distinctive competencies and competitive advantages — in other words, what you do better than your competitors, whether that might be excellent customer service or a clear value proposition.
Brand weaknesses are internal factors that diminish your business and leave you at a disadvantage in the marketplace. Think of them as constraints on your success, such as a lack of clear, detailed buyer personas or buyer’s journey or quality lead and customer data.
Identifying your brand strengths is the first step toward optimizing them. If you want to ensure your organization is moving in the right direction, you should take an objective look at these strengths. It’s also important to regularly review your brand strengths to ensure they are still in tact.
It may be easier — and more affirming — to identify your brand strengths. But be honest about your weaknesses, too. Identifying weaknesses involves more than just looking at customer complaints. You must dig deeper to view the whole picture, from product quality to customer service to your guiding values. Nothing undermines a company’s vision more than an unwillingness to be forthright about its shortcomings.
A good starting point for better understanding your brand’s strengths and weaknesses is to ask these four questions:
In the digital environment, businesses have the chance to virtually listen in on their brand perception through social media conversations, blog comments, and more. Less about quantity and more about sentiment, these conversations can provide valuable insights into what your audience values about your products and services and where there are opportunities for improvement.
While continuous revenue growth is an indicator you’ve established a strong position in the marketplace, it’s important to dig deeper into these numbers. For instance, How much of this revenue growth is from winning new customers versus upsells to existing customers? This comparison can help you see if there’s a need to better educate prospects on your differentiators in the market or if there’s a need for better post-purchase communications with current customers, respectively.
As the digital space becomes more crowded, businesses have to fight harder to reach their target audience — and when they’re able to, it’s critical that the right marketing messages are delivered. From your company’s mission to your processes, your brand story should be in the driver’s seat as you strategically execute your marketing plan.
One of the most valuable steps in the brand story development process is simply talking to your customers. You’ll gain insights into factors that made them choose you over the competition, while also hearing feedback on areas where they see room for improvement — a win-win. Even if you’ve completed interviews in the past, you’ll want to routinely revisit your buyer personas to ensure they still sync up with your products/services and the future direction of your brand.
Just as the messaging you create for your brand needs to be aligned, the same can be said for visual elements. Using the same colors, fonts, and imagery across customer touchpoints — from your website, to digital ads, to social media — creates a more consistent brand experience that makes your business more recognizable and trusted in the eyes of your target audience.
Clearly-defined brand guidelines support these efforts. By setting visual rules and standards, you’ll have the resources in place to keep your brand recognizable across all channels, in the most efficient way possible. Like buyer personas, brand guidelines are living documents that should be revisited on a routine basis as company and industry dynamics change.
To build a stronger brand name in your marketplace, identify your strengths and build a strong personality around them. At the same time, take note of your weaknesses and create a plan to overcome them. The time you invest in this process will reward you with insights that translate into long-term brand and business benefits.
Recognizing the value of a SWOT analysis — an exercise that assesses your company’s strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats — we offer this service to our clients. Through a combination of stakeholder and customer interviews as well as competitor and industry research, our team helps clearly identify what sets you apart in the market, where there’s room to improve or grow, and what to look out for from the competition. With this foundation in place, we have valuable insights to steer your marketing and sales strategy in the right direction.