Benefits of a Strong Brand, Part 1 – Increase Your Value to Your Target Clients/Customers

Here’s a quick client anecdote that illustrates an important benefit gained from a well-defined and strong brand:

Benefits of a Strong Brand - - Brand Specialist Blog imageA few years back, HeLT worked with a publishing industry client who had started a new business unit that used state-of-the-art technology to produce custom textbooks for university professors.  Professors who could not find the course book they wanted could use the client’s service to design their own custom, hardcover, professional-looking textbook.  The client felt they had a pretty good idea of what their brand values would be before using our C.O.R.E.E. Brand Positioning Process: they knew choice and cost-savings were important values to their target customer.

The business unit already relied on a vast network of contracted partnerships with other publishers to access the copyrighted materials needed to produce the custom textbooks in their specific genre (religion).  As a result, my client could undeniably provide professors the greatest choice of content available in the marketplace at the time.  Technology advancements had also made automated print-on-demand books very cost effective to produce—so the client’s service was not only free to professors but also would result in a textbook that cost students (per page) the same or less than a standard textbook (which had material the professor didn’t intend to teach).

Through my branding process the client identified a third very important value they had overlooked: convenience. 

The business unit’s main competition was actually on-campus copy centers that for decades had produced customized, spiral-bound course packs—except professors themselves were responsible for gathering all copyright permissions before a copy center would print a single page.  The new business unit, having already obtained publisher permissions in return for % of proceeds, was the most convenient and time-saving option for busy professors.  After identifying this as a third brand value, the client began to emphasize it in both marketing and in the client’s enhancement of the service itself (e.g. creating simple “1 -2- 3” process explanations on the service’s website, adding more one-click options when building a book).  The client also began to promote that the new business unit was able to beat copy centers in quick and guaranteed shipping overseas when a professor was teaching a semester abroad (copy centers were notoriously slow and unreliable—definitely not convenient).

As a result of HeLT’s brand positioning process, the client’s staff produced time-saving measures and marketing that literally increased the attractiveness and value of its service to their customers—and sales grew.

SUMMARY: Great branding often reveals untapped opportunities where you can add real value to your client, customer, or reader offerings.  If you haven’t formally positioned your brand and defined your brand values, you are likely overlooking meaningful competitive advantages and leaving the chance to leverage these on the table.

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