The 5 top priorities to include in your marketing budget

June 23, 2023
B2B Customer insights Brand positioning Brand research Brand strategy Marketing communications Rebranding

As marketing teams continue to evaluate their priorities for their marketing budgets, investment in brand should always be considered at the top of the priority list. Building and maintaining your brand reputation requires ongoing investment, as opposed to a set and forget strategy.

To ensure growth in brand awareness and equity, factor the following priorities into your annual marketing budget.

1. Brand research

The purpose of brand research is to ensure that your brand is connecting to your ideal customers. It also allows you to take stock of your brand as it currently stands and uncover any insights or opportunities for change that would help grow the brand or attract an emerging audience.

Brand research is an invaluable tool that can uncover insights from both internal and external sources to help shape your brand and business strategy. It allows you to determine how your brand is performing according to your team and customers. It assists in defining what could be done better in the future.

There are a number of different forms of brand research that can be undertaken. You may look to explore qualitative or quantitative research, or a combination of both, depending on your objectives as to which would be most appropriate.

Brand research is what we specialise in here at BrandMatters. If you are uncertain where to start, our comprehensive guide to brand research can help you develop a better understanding of what you need to consider.

Before we start any branding project, we take the time to understand our clients’ objectives and create a bespoke brand research program to ensure we uncover the insights needed to make the next strategic move. Read more about our approach.

2. Brand Strategy

A clearly defined brand delivers strong tangible and intangible benefits to all organisations regardless of the industry in which they operate. Brands born from a deep understanding of their market, business environment, target customers, competitors and employees will perform strongly and facilitate sustained business growth.

Brand strategy incorporates everything from your purpose, positioning, brand story employer branding and organisational values, right down to logo, colour palette, tone of voice, and overall visual identity.

It is essential to review your brand strategy to ensure that it aligns with your overall business strategy. If you’ve undertaken brand or market research, the findings from this research should underpin your strategic decision-making.

At BrandMatters, developing a robust brand strategy is usually the next step that follows brand research as it relies on key insights from the research to inform the strategy.

3. Brand refresh and rebrand

A rebrand should not be taken lightly, however it is one approach an organisation can take to communicate to their audiences the extent of change occurring within their organisation.

A true rebrand is a journey that involves comprehensively analysing what has changed within your business and strategy, bringing that change to life through a defined brand positioning, and signalling the change to the market through a new logo or visual identity.

A rebrand is a major investment, especially if you have branded physical assets such as shopfronts, buildings, infrastructure, or products. For service industries, it is still a major undertaking, however, it would be a lot more cost-effective to rebrand specific assets such as websites, emails and other digital assets.

Some organisations prefer to do these smaller refreshes of their brand over time, and this is certainly an approach we have seen implemented successfully across many major brands.

Some examples of refreshed brands are available in our previous article (link to blog).

Our e-book The refreshing guide to rebranding, focuses on the strategy behind a rebrand, ensuring you embark on a rebrand with all the necessary insights required to make the right decisions for your brand to ignite long-term growth.

If you would like to discuss your rebranding project with us, we can decipher the risks and benefits of this approach with you.

4. Brand partnership and strategic brand alliance

A brand partnership is an agreement between two organisations that would mutually benefit by being associated with each other. Through these partnerships, the organisations help one another to increase brand awareness, strengthen brand positioning or break into each other’s markets.

Brand partnerships can come in all shapes and sizes, but can significantly improve brand awareness and growth, especially if the partner brand has established equity.

A strategic brand partnership or co-branding opportunity can have a range of benefits for each of the brands involved. A key opportunity includes the transference of positive brand association from one brand to another. This works well for smaller or start-up brands, who can quickly grow the awareness of their brand by this association.

A strong brand partnership will only succeed if the brands have common values, each brand is clear about their individual positioning, and the partnership only serves to strengthen these market intent (rather than confusing the situation).

The combined investment by the two brands can stretch the reach and frequency of the brand (and potential campaign activity to obtain a better ROI for both parties.

5. Consistent communications

Over the many years that we have been creating strong enduring brands, consistency is one the most important factors that we emphasise with all our clients. Consistency in brand presentation and messaging across all channels is the key to ensuring your brand resonates and cuts through the clutter.

Consistency in delivering on your brand promise will result in building strong brand equity. Without consistency across all channels and touchpoints, your brand marketing can easily be missed. It is vital that your brand is known and understood by each and every member of your organisation and that they understand what is expected of them when they are representing the brand.

Your customers want to know what to expect from the brand. If you have different messages, visual cues or customer experiences each time a customer interacts with your brand, it will dilute the recognition of your brand and most likely result in a difficult and expensive challenge for your brand to be noticed.

At BrandMatters, when we undertake a rebrand or create a new brand, we recommend a set of templates and a robust set of brand guidelines that will help maintain the consistency of the brand throughout the organisation going forward and ensure the business remains disciplined.

In these challenging times, while many organisations may decide to cut their marketing budget, we suggest that your budget be spent wisely to maximise its effectiveness and your return on investment. If you would like to discuss a brand or marketing project, please get in touch.

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