5 ways to determine your brand's strength
Living up to the promise is no mean task. Here's how to keep on satisfying your customers
By: Kendrick S. Go | Jul 04, 2012 10:00 am
Declining sales is a sure indicator that your brand is eroding. If you review shows no growth or even a decline, you must look carefully at why that is happening, by asking these questions:
1. Does your product or service need to be improved?
2. Does your visibility need to be upgraded?
3. Do you need to get the attention of your consumers more effectively?
4. Does your pricing need to be changed?
5. Do you need to change your packaging or pack sizes?
By doing these steps, and asking other relevant questions you can think of, you can spot any problems early and adapt one's brand strategy to cope.
Brands dominate our lives. Everyday, we are exposed to hundreds of brands, from the items we use to the advertisements we see everywhere. A brand is basically any symbol, name, phrase, or design used to distinguish one’s business or product from its competitor.
Entrepreneurs should take to heart, however, the world’s second-level meaning: brand is the image of the product in the market, and its success or failure depends on whether the product fulfills all that it promises in the consumer’s experience.
Brands are often developed over time, and eventually build its own character that affects how people look at it. It comes to stand for something in the eyes of consumers.
It can be difficult to change that perception and make it stand for something else, especially when a brand’s image has become deeply embedded in the minds of its users or, more important, its non-users.
Often complicating things is the logistical and organizational impact of repositioning a brand to address a new need. “This results in brand stagnation, where sales flatten and then decline, which reflects consumer demand,” says Bernardo Cid, chief brand adviser for Mansmith and Fileders Inc., a marketing and sales consultancy firm.
Causes of Stagnation
There are many causes for brands to stagnate, but Cid says that they include a “weakening value proposition” that results in reduced product awareness. The brand’s competitors could also have introduced a much better or more innovative product or marketing campaign.
Alternately, the brand may have stopped innovating, or product quality may have deteriorated, tarnishing the brand’s image. Finally, consumer preference may be moving in a new direction away from the category in which the brand participates.
Though brand stagnation normally occurs with established brands, Cid says that this can also happen to startups and healthy brands. This is especially true with businesses that are expanding, with signs of brand stagnation going unnoticed by the entrepreneur.
“It is important to remember that your growing total revenue number can hide the early signs of coming decline,” says Cid.