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Entries in branding (2)

Friday
Oct282011

Good brand, good customer service

A recent trip to a Mercedes dealership for my Smart car called to mind the importance of customer service. I was greeted by name in the car park, and shown to the reception. Whilst waiting for my car to be serviced, I was continually asked whether I wanted another drink. In fact, I rather enjoyed the peace and quiet of the showroom to get some work done actually! The service manager assigned to my car kept me well updated with the progress, and apologised for the time it had taken. When it was ready, I was well fed and watered and the car had had a full valet inside and out. Plus, when I got to my car there was a notice inside the car which apologised that they may have moved my seat - as if they had to apologise!

Anyway, the point is Mercedes is an iconic brand, and one renowned for its quality. As a customer it certainly lived up to its reputation, and led to great satisfaction on my part. This is where brand strategy goes far past just a logo!

Friday
Oct072011

Designing success

What role is your image having in your business’ fight against the gloomy financial climate?

It is, undoubtedly, a tough world out there at the moment for many businesses. With the constantly changing global forecasts and economic statistics buzzing around the media it can be confusing and very daunting to consider the state and position of your business, within the bigger picture.

However sometimes it’s the smaller picture that provides more clarity. The small picture is your business, and when you look very carefully at the things that are in your control, it can become much easier to deal with.

The former Sector Skills Development Agency carried out research which showed businesses that don’t invest in growth during a recession are 2.5 times more likely to fail than those that do. When times are tough, it may be tempting to cut the marketing budget, but it seems that this approach is not always the best plan.
According to the Design Council “85% of rapidly growing businesses consider design to be integral or significant to their operations. Nearly two-thirds (59%) of UK businesses agree or strongly agree that there is clearly a positive link between investment in design and profitability.”

So it seems that design is already contributing to the bottom line of many businesses. But how does it actually work? In a white paper published by the Design Council Will Hutton described design as: “the bridge between the consumer questing for the experiential and the company trying to meet that appetite with an offer that presents the new in a user-friendly and innovative way.”

If we take the example of the development of a new product, design can play a part in the initial market research, the physical product itself, identifying the best way to target the right audience, packaging the product and advertising to get the word out there when it is available. A Business Link article explains: “Successful businesses include design as part of their business strategy from the outset because involving design at an early stage can save you money and result in a better experience for your customers.”

At Kipper, one of the first things we do with new clients is to carry out a design audit. Put simply this is getting everything out on the boardroom table (flyers, website, product labels, business cards, adverts etc) and reviewing it together. Your customers will come into contact with your business through a variety of different avenues: they may see bus advertising, walk past your showroom and get a flyer through their door. All these ‘touch points’ should give a clear and consistent message. To continue our example; spending money on the design of your flyers may be wasted if your bus ads don’t convey the same great impression. People may tune out if they can’t see consistency of brand; they may even not link the two!

Sir Martin Sorrell (CEO of the world’s biggest advertising agency, WPP) recently made the following comment talking about how business is dealing with the current global financial crisis: “Instead of investing in plant and equipment, companies are investing in brand and trying to build sales and market share.”
But it’s not just international businesses. Sussex-based security firm Beacon Services recorded a rise in new business conversion rate from 49% to 85% following a rebrand to reposition the company in their marketplace. Matthew Robinson at Beacon commented: “Kipper have been an invaluable partner throughout the whole design process and we are delighted with the results.”

Design can play a key role in your businesses success and add value to the bottom line. If you are interested in having a free design audit for your company, call Kipper today on 01444 884115.

David Tingley, Creative Director, Kipper