The easiest way to tell if your brand is working is sales:
- Are you attracting new customers?
- Are they buying?
- Are they coming back again and again?
A strong brand moves the sales needle, but the devil is in the details. It’s all about winning the ties and repeating the buys. (Nice alliteration, right?)
Win the Ties
Your customers have choice, lots of choice. When someone is comparing their options they will choose the better brand. Sometimes that will be the category leader, and at other times it will be the more innovative, challenger brand. Whichever brand presents the best option wins.
Branding is like a combat sport, and the quality of your marketing is your weapons and armor. If your website and marketing materials are out of date, it’s like showing up with a rubber knife. Good luck!
Without a Sticky Brand, your business is dependent on two things to win the ties: personal relationships and low prices.
Selling based on relationships and price are fine when you’re small or when you don’t have much competition. But they quickly lose their power as an industry matures or you start competing against better brands.
Your brand is a signal to potential customers what they can expect from your organization. Customers choose strong brands first, because it reduces their perceived risks.
Repeat the Buys
A brand isn’t sticky without repeat customers. #TruthBomb
Winning a customer once is great, but if they don’t come back what does that say about your brand? Very rarely do companies sell something just once. Even heart surgeons get repeat business.
As a patient, you may not visit the heart surgeon multiple times (and I hope you never have to), but the surgeon receives repeat referrals. GPs and other specialists refer patients to the surgeons that possess the best brands and best reputations. Repeat referrals is a signal of a strong brand.
What brings customers back is not marketing, it’s the quality of your services. I truly believe that successful businesses create successful brands, and never the other way around. Bringing customers back comes from within. It comes from the quality of your products, services, business model and delivery.
If you have great marketing but poor delivery, you’re not going to repeat the buys.
Win the Ties / Repeat the Buys
Sticky Brands are the whole package: great marketing, great products, great people.
Branding is multifactorial. It takes a lot of moving parts to create a successful business and brand, but the reward is tangible: You see it in your sales. A strong brand means customers are more likely to buy, more likely to refer, and more likely to come back again and again.
All of these are measurable, and all three metrics will tell you how your brand is performing today.