“Branding” – what does it mean to you? In a very interactive workshop with Rhonda Page of Know Your Difference, EMC Food Sector Members and Guests explored six steps to brand clarity!
EMC Members, Guests and Community Partners gathered together in Brantford early one morning to explore the world of "Branding". Participants represented large manufacturers, SME's and industry professionals - all with a desire to learn more about what Branding is, how it affects their companies, and their role in ensuring that their own particular brand is representing their company and products properly.
Our Guest Speaker, Rhonda Page, of Know Your Difference, has spent many years working with companies on their branding issues and shared examples during her presentation of good and the "not-so-good" branding applications.
Our session began with a Scorecard approach and once completed provided us with a general synopsis that although we may be on the right track with respect to branding - there are certainly opportunities that we can find by digging just a little deeper...
Discussion opened up on what branding actually is and everyone shared their perspectives in that regard providing examples and outlining some of the challenges they were currently facing in brand development.
Our speaker shared her thoughts and provided us with an overview of the "Six Steps to Brand Clarity":
1. Get clear on your vision;
2. Get clear on your ideal audience;
3. Get clear on your competition;
4. How to get customer insights;
5. Developing a unique difference; and
6. Bringing your brand to life.
Getting Clear on Your Vision:
* As an example to prove the strength of visioning - an Olympic Team was split in half - one half practiced constantly and one envisioned success - both groups did equally well
* To get us in the correct frame of mind to understand the importance of visioning - our Speaker worked with us to help us visualize where we might be three years from now - touching on roles, ideal products, generating revenue and so forth.
* Key function areas have different priorities in line for visions - need to get everyone together in a team/stakeholder opportunity and vote or facilitate to a common ground
* Implementation of vision is always a challenge
* 10% vision - 90% execution
* Executive coaching programs - good to vision for personal life as well
Get Clear on Your Audience:
* Many companies focus only on demographics
* Need to focus on "who" are the people - creating a strong brand creates an emotional connection
How to Study your Competition:
* What are they doing?
* How do they talk about themselves?
* Sometimes they all just say the same thing
Get Insights - Ask Questions:
* Talk to people casually in stores
* Talk to key stakeholders - demands, trends, white spaces
* B2C - business to consumer
* B2B - business to business
* Both models can be done through talking - customers, clients, employees
* Focus Groups are very expensive - but you can do on your own informally
Develop a Differentiated Message:
* Are you the "only"…
* Statement that guides you forward - brand positioning - we are "this", sell to "who", benefits - get everyone on the same page
Bring Your Brand to Life Through Good Design:
* It stands out, consistent, clear message
* Design can be differentiation
* Aligned to what you do and sector is educated
* Create an awesome process or great experience - not totally about the logo - know your audience
* Service - person with knowledge or skills - corporate identity
* Maytag - "customer for life"
* Have to back up everything with service
* Roger Martin's Book - "The Design of Business"
* Approach, follow-up, communication, appearance - touch points of the experience - all goes back to the brand
* Set expectations to start
* Clean, crisp - stands out nicely
* So, how are you different?
Rhonda produces a newsletter and Blog on Branding through her website - www.knowyourdifference.com - that provides some good information as well that you may wish to check out.
This was a very interesting session and participants felt that it was a topic that should definitely be revisited again in our new schedule.
Special thanks to our Guest Speaker, Rhonda Page of Know Your Difference, and our Members and guests who joined us in Brantford from across Southwestern Ontario!
Have a great week!