How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time. The same goes for branding. Too often branding turns into a massive, costly project. It’s a symptom of treating it as a one-time project, and trying to do too much at once. You don’t just brand a business, and then leave it for 5 years until it breaks again.
It’s far more effective to view branding as a continuous process. Treat it like a total quality management (TQM) program. By making incremental changes you can continuously improve the business, the customer experience and your competitive advantage.
Priorities are key when you apply a TQM mindset to branding. It’s truly a process of eating the elephant one bite at time.
The 3V’s: Volume, Velocity and Value
At Sticky Branding, we set our branding priorities based on the 3V’s: Volume, Velocity and Value. In a small-to-medium sized company most branding efforts are tied back to sales goals:
- Volume: How do you increase awareness and generate more leads?
- Velocity: How do you improve your conversion ratio to achieve more closed business?
- Value: How do you avoid discounting and competing on price while being your customer’s first choice?
A key benefit of the 3V’s is you already have the data. You can look to your sales and financial results over the past few years and identify strengths and trends. This provides a great deal of insight into where to focus your branding efforts. Is the competition eating your lunch on price? Then focus on Value. Are the sales reps starving for more business? Then focus on Volume.
Focus on one V at a time
Priorities are always shifting: new competitors, new products, new trends, and so on. We operate in a competitive landscape. But stay focused. Don’t try to do too much at once, and focus on one V at a time.
Take the TQM approach and put your attention on one priority: Volume, Velocity or Value. A clear objective will maximize your resources, and help you track the progress and ROI of your efforts.
As you work on one V monitor the impact on all three measures. Typically you will see improvement across the board.
Which V will you focus on in 2011?
2010 is quickly coming to a close, and 2011 planning is well under way. What are your priorities for the New Year? Are you focused on Volume, Velocity or Value?