7 Signs that it’s time to update your corporate identity

There are a number of tell-tale signs that a business is in need of a brand repositioning or to have an update made to its corporate identity with the help of a corporate branding company. The characteristics of ineffective corporate branding can be explicit but often concealed by an ambiguous branding strategy.

The characteristics of ineffective corporate branding can be explicit but often concealed by an ambiguous branding strategy, but bBefore we look at the reasons behind reviewing an organisations branding strategy, let’s be sure to define what corporate branding is and what it means when a corporate branding company repositions a brand strategy.

Corporate branding companies refer to branding as the intrinsic message communicated by an organisation’s visible identity. An effective branding strategy is responsible for creating a (market) perception of a brand when customers come into contact with a company’s logo, slogan, packaging and customer service experience. Corporate branding or a brand’s design intends to take a visual representation of a brand and positively influence consumer behaviour and overall growth by imprinting a message in the minds of customers and elicit a positive relationship with the brand, often before the client has even concluded a purchase.

So what are the signs that an organisation would benefit from a corporate rebranding? To follow find 7 cues that a company needs to update its corporate identity.

1. A Brand Should Reflect an Organisations Character
A brand strategy is defined by the corporate identity and company behaviours inherent to the organisation, led by a specific set of values and culture. When a brand’s visual representation does not reflect the organisation’s ethos, this is a sure enough reason to engage with a corporate branding company for a possible rebranding.

3. Shared or Mistaken Identity
Corporate branding builds brand awareness through the use of a unique logo, slogan packaging, stationery etc. Branding creates a tangible and accessible experience for the customer to identify with during the various stages of the purchase lifecycle. Strong branding should be unique and differentiated from any other brand that may exist to ensure a memorable and distinguished imprint on consumer behaviour.

3. When Market Perception Meets Brand Reality
Effective brand management and the way in which a brand is positioned is critical to any brand strategy and can only be done through consistent communication and customer experience. When a customer’s need aligns to the solutions that a brand provides, and a specific brand springs to mind, the corporate branding strategy is considered successful.

4. Products versus Brands
Corporate branding markets the all-encompassing solution often communicated in a company’s slogan. Product marketing highlights the benefits and features of a specific product or service. When a corporate brand promotes product sets and not the business intent, a rebranding exercise is necessary.

5. Customer Relationships Rule
The only way a corporate branding company can take the tangible or visual representation of a brand and leave a compelling impression in the minds of prospective customers is through building positive customer relationships. When an organisation’s customer relationship game is strong, consumers are compelled to make a purchase based on the way they feel about the brand.

6. Z-MOT What?
Corporate branding activities are further reaching and vastly different to the marketing activities geared at promoting products. Efforts also extend further than simply inventing a catchy logo and slogan. The zero moment of truth (ZMOT) now influences the purchase lifecycle whereby, before engaging with a brand, customers turn to peer reviews, social media and evidence of topic expertise prior to making their purchase decision. Taking these factors into account, an effective branding strategy includes tactics geared at supporting a positive account of public relations, peer to peer reviews, forum discussions and testimonials.

7. Missing Your Market
Misunderstanding who your customers actually are versus who you think they are can be a costly misalignment to achieving an effective branding exercise. Marketing your brand to the incorrect target market will result in inconsistent, unconvincing messaging. Different target markets command different branding tactics which will need to be reviewed and realigned during a corporate rebranding.

Once the need for a corporate rebranding company has been identified, and the signs of a rebranding are recognised, corporate branding best practice can be effectively applied, maximum growth achieved and any future misalignment avoided going forward.

SEO Agency – Are you getting your money’s worth?

In an industry so niche with terms, concepts and implementations so specific, how can you be sure you are gaining as much value from your SEO Agency as possible?

Search engine optimisation is such a precise science that to most business owners, it just makes sense to outsource this function to an SEO company that specialises in search engine optimisation.

Best described as an investment, when applied correctly, SEO takes:

Time 
A great SEO campaign can only be deemed a success, much in the same as an investment delivers returns, once enough time has been applied to turn real results.

Attention 
Competitive and intricate, Search Engine Optimisation takes acute attention to detail and a sharpened skillset to be applied effectively.

Money
SEO “takes money to make money” to see real results in the shortest amount of time. Where the wrong move is almost always an expensive one, for SEO to be effective takes a dedicated budget that may only turn results in the long term.

To be certain you have the best team of digital marketers, dedicated to supporting your business development and generating meaningful leads, a basic understanding of what you’re investing in is essential.

SEO Defined

Plainly put Search Engine Optimisation helps customers find your business online. Through combined digital marketing efforts, SEO helps to match a customer’s search terms to accurate search results using any popular search engine (Google, Yahoo, Bing, AOL, Ask.com etc).  Not only do the search results need to be relevant, but the higher on the results list, the more likely the customer will be to click on the link. The more relevant the result, with the highest ranking, the closer the match and more meaningful the lead to conversion.

What is an SEO Audit?

An SEO audit or score reveals how “search engine friendly” a website is. A search engine’s customer is the “searcher” and their products are relevant search results. The easier it is to find accurate information, relevant to the searchers request, the more search friendly the website is.

SEO: A Science and an Art

A practiced SEO agency has mastered the science of SEO while remaining mindful that the end user is not the search engine but rather a prospective paying customer. While the first step to SEO is preparing a website, its content and related digital marketing are geared towards checking the boxes deeming a site SEO fit, the second and most critical step is making sure that the content is human friendly. Both steps need to be accounted for symbiotically, combining the science of SEO tactics with the art of end usability (UX) through accurate and relevant information.

Black hat SEO tactics fall short when the simulated SEO agency prepares a website and related content only taking into account the science of SEO and not the audience or customer. Through keyword stuffing / stacking (the excessive and inappropriate use of keywords), hidden text that is often irrelevant to the page UX, Gateway Pages, Bait-and-Switch or page swapping, duplicate content and or spam blocks are all Black Hat SEO techniques that inexperienced SEO companies use in an attempt to manipulate SEO results.

White hat SEO is evidently the opposite whereby authentic SEO specialists marry both requirements together. Combining both SEO strategies and applied techniques with relevant, compelling and an accurate user experience as well as a strong focus on link building, delivers more resolute SEO rankings and long term results.

Prospero360 is an integrated strategic communications agency, passionate about digital marketing, design and user experience, delivering an average of 15-25% growth from entry level client packages and 80%+ growth from more robust service arrangements (industry dependant).

Ensure that you are gaining the most value out of your SEO agency with a basic grasp of what it means to invest in Search Engine Optimisation. Understanding the fundamentals, best practice and the difference between White and Black hat SEO techniques is the surest way to confirm your SEO Agency is as invested in your SEO as you are.

Strategy for Software as a service (SAAS)

Marketing a SaaS business model and establishing a customer acquisition strategy for Software as a Service is a critical reality for virtual business owners.

SaaS or Software as a Service offers their clients flexible service subscriptions to service software and virtual or

While the benefits of Software as a Service seem strong enough to sell themselves, SaaS business owners, need a sound acquisition strategy to build and grow their business through the various stages of its lifecycle.

As a service provider when selling virtual services, SaaS business owners aim to solve four (4) barriers of successful customer acquisition:

1.    Build brand awareness
2.    Convince to purchase
3.    Price products appropriately
4.    Simplify integration and on-boarding

When making a purchase decision, customers research various solutions, evaluate their options, make the purchase and on-board through integrating the purchased software apps. As a SaaS provider the ideal customer acquisition strategy should be to build your product awareness, facilitate the customer evaluation phase, offer cost effective subscription options/ terms and ensure that the application is simple enough to integrate with their existing business.

The marketplace no longer responds to outdated marketing strategies, today, business owners need to initiate a revised approach to customer acquisition and growth strategies. Customers no longer engage with the “what” but rather the “why”. Customers purchase purpose and the more compelling the purpose, the more engaged the customer will be. Brand perception is everything which is why in the world of highly evolved consumers; brands must have a clear and acute understanding of self in order to sell their authenticity and their purpose.

5 Quick Tactics to a Sound SaaS Customer Acquisition Strategy

1. Do as you say and say as you do

Define who you are, what your business stands for and how your product solves customer angst. Be resolute, stay true to your definitions and be sure to always deliver what you have committed to.

2. Lobby brand ambassadors

Engage with industry leaders, influencers and brand ambassadors. The more credible your reputation, the more compelled potential customers will be to make a purchase. An authentic influencer strategy, where brand ambassadors are truly convinced of the value of your product, will go a mile when marketing to potential customers.

3. Create and market compelling content through thought leadership

Share your topic expertise by generating compelling content to build awareness and keep your customers engaged. Write blogs, share social content and distribute thought leadership pieces that can be marketed, repurposed and shared as far as the social funnel will reach.

4. Accessibility

Make your services available and easy to access through every channel that you can imagine (where it makes sense of course). Use your website’s landing page as a main source of conversion, offer customers other options to engage, gain more information and convert through telephone, email, newsletters, SMS marketing, Social Media, Reviews, Forums and the all-powerful, Word of Mouth.

5. After Sale Support Strategy   

A separate and critical step to securing long term clients and extending the lifetime value of a customer is with a strong aftersales support and on-boarding programme. Once the client has made their purchase, make sure they are satisfied, gain value from the product and are convinced to renew their subscription, given an excellent “in-subscription” experience they have following the final purchase.