- Elon Musk, Investor & Entrepreneur
In order to succeed, a business relies on its ability to maintain their relationship with their customers. Branding is a crucial aspect in which a company:
- Leaves a memorable impression on their clients
- Distinguishes itself as a business within its market
- Gains recognition amongst its customers
- Works with existing marketing and advertising teams
- Keeps itself in front of its target consumers
Brand consultants play a vital role in a company’s branding, as they often have the expertise and relevant information required to help a business leave a lasting impression on its target consumers.
Essentially, they are responsible for helping a company find its “voice,” so it may develop longer lasting relationships with its current and future clients. It’s important to understand while typically the execution isn’t always their main role, they help pave a direction in which branding can be done successfully.
KEY ROLES OF A BRANDING CONSULTANT
An experienced branding consultant understands their given market, as well as what steps to take to further develop a company’s impression. Their key roles can be defined as the following:
- Develop and help manage a business’ identity
- Understand their client’s demographic, and how to appeal to them
- Research competitors, and know-how they stack up in comparison
- Review branding efforts and decide what is working and what isn’t
- Maintain market capture by understanding acquired metrics
The ability for a branding consultant to execute these roles relies solely on their ability to understand the market of their client. In order for a branding campaign to be successful, these roles must be tailored to the client, and hyper-focused in the segment.
DEVELOPING AND MANAGING A BUSINESSES’ IMAGE
Considered one of their more important roles, branding consultants are responsible for how a business’s current and potential customers see and interact with them. They are responsible for knowing what is most effective in terms of brand representation, and how the company is seen across the broader market.
This requires a fundamental understanding of not only the company, but also what is most effective for a given segment. The goal is to separate them from their competition in a way that appeals to their demographic and tells their customer why they’re better than their competition.
APPEALING TO DEMOGRAPHICS
In order for a branding consultant to effectively develop and manage a business’ image, they must have a firm understanding of their given demographic and competition. In order for a branding campaign to be as effective as possible, it has to appeal to the right customers and help foster relationships that go above and beyond anything the competition is capable of.
The goal is to highlight the brand so that its visibility is above and beyond any of its competitors. A solid understanding of who it is the business is trying to appeal to is essential to the development of a solid branding. The goal is to appeal to the right customers, not just all of them.
In order to be successful, consultants must not only know who the competition is, but what they do most effectively. The goal is to rise above competition, and easily show why their business is the better option for their customers. When it comes to the competition, consultants must be able to:
- Determine who their biggest competition is
- Why they are the competition
- What they do effectively within their market
- How they can set themselves apart in a way that captures a larger audience
In order to be effective, branding consultants must understand the competition of their client to the best of their ability. In order to best highlight a business within a market, they must know what works for their competitors and how to do it better.
WORK WITH MARKETING AND ADVERTISING
Hiring a brand consultant should not be confused with having a marketing or advertising team. A consultant’s goal is to utilize metrics and data to propel a brand campaign in a given direction, while your marketing or advertising team is responsible for executing it.
Branding consultants can be expected to work with many different departments including: merchandising, advertising, marketing, and even your legal department. Essentially, they’ll work with these teams in order to develop a path in order to best and most effectively execute the branding campaign at hand.
FIGURE OUT WHAT’S WORKING AND WHAT ISN’T
When it comes to branding, more often than not its trial and error. Whether it’s utilizing focus groups or researching the effectiveness of an ad campaign, branding consultants are responsible for figuring out what’s working and what isn’t.
From there, the goal is to further develop on the key elements that work, while eliminating what isn’t working or whatever is less effective. Consultants can use a plethora of available information to determine this such as social media engagement, customer reviews, and even traffic driven by different campaigns. The more metrics available, the better they can rule out what’s working, and what isn’t.
MAINTAINING AND INCREASING MARKET CAPTURE
Once they’ve compiled all the available information and broken-down active brand campaigns and market influence, it’s the branding consultants’ main job to focus not only on customer retention, but to help in the overall increase of market capture.
If they have been effective at their job, you should be able to see the effectiveness that they’ve brough to your business through both customer exposure, and hopefully, an increase in revenue. Through their extensive work, branding consultants can continue to build on their previous work, further developing a business’ image to further increase their impact on the market.
Having an effective branding consultant is an important factor for further developing a business’ footprint within a given market. They are necessary for both increasing the number of available customers, but also keeping the original market share in your corner.
They provide and analyse the crucial statistics and supporting data to help further develop your business’ brand. They’ll work with your marketing and advising teams to push your business to a higher platform, and give you the metrics to understand where you stack up with the competition.
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Thought leaders & celebrities share their tactics for success on the Lisnic podcast by Lisa Teh & Nick Bell