Are you delivering your brand effectively?

We all talk the talk when it comes to brands, yet few companies in each market segment deliver them effectively. Do it well and you can thrive, otherwise you’re staring down the barrel of survival, according to Iain McInnes of McInnes Communications.

Today’s brands are far more than just a set of pretty colours and a logo; they are intertwined with numerous tangible and intangible values, which are reflected right across the marketing and communications mix.

Think of some of the most powerful brands across the globe, whose brands reach consumers through so many different channels, yet are boastful in a coherent and integrated way.

While one may argue that the glazing and fenestration markets are a far cry from the global brand giants, there are still basic marketing and communications fundamentals that can be observed. Consumer brands have for several years been talking about ‘the customer experience’ and you can see this in the way that staff in John Lewis, for example, engage with consumers from the front door inwards. It’s the start of a brand journey and experience, regardless of store location or time of year.

Brands are delivered not only through marketing communications, but the way in which all staff in an organisation interact with the consumer. Get it wrong and you can still delight a customer as it’s not necessarily what you have done, but the way in which you address it.

Building customer relationships is a means to conveying brand values, and that’s why you see companies in the industry still presenting their business as ‘family owned’ or ‘owner managed’, the latter particularly applicable for more sizable operations.

Away from core business operations, brand values should be communicated effectively by marketing professionals and there are dozens of all shapes and sizes operating in the glazing and fenestration sectors. But while your staff and departments are fully versed in customer expectations and your specific market segment, does your marketing agency have the experience and expertise to understand your brand?

It’s a simple premise, but if they don’t understand your brand and values then how can they engage your brand effectively with the world at large? Are they employed to change people’s perception of your business and thereby build your reputation, or are they merely producing short-term marketing collateral with little effectiveness? Ultimately there’s a big difference and that’s why you see powerful brands across the industry in each segment, and we’ve worked with many of them including Brisant-Secure, Kömmerling, Prefix Systems, Solidor, and The Residence Collection.

Back in the 2017 issue of the Glass Times Guide to Marketing, I spoke about why three is marketing’s magic number, with a more than tenuous link to De La Soul’s hip-hop track, The Magic Number, which started off ‘Three, that’s the Magic Number’. It’s still a philosophy that I advocate with all clients, as it is a proven strategic vehicle to deliver effective brand values and, above all else, outstanding commercial returns.

This process begins with the thought process, combining marketing expertise with industry knowledge which dates back to 1992 with Veka. The creation stage is where client plans are born, before they are carefully executed in the communication stage. Short-term tactical marketing disappoints everyone, and merely filling trade magazine with basic content doesn’t generate the returns required.

Given the challenges facing the industry in 2020, carrying out a marketing audit has never been so important. There’s excess supply in most industry segments and companies are fighting for both market share and better margins. Your marketing and communications strategy must be fully thought through so you can think, create and communicate your brand effectively.