Archive for the ‘Thoughts’ Category

What makes a brand valuable?

Tuesday, January 17th, 2012

Interbrand’s latest brand research published in January on the world’s most ‘valuable’ brands, using their own special formula, not the ‘price’ of the company. Some interesting reading.

What of your own brand? How much would it be worth alongside against its competitors? What are your customers using to choose you or perhaps your competitors? Your brand can be a huge help to your competitive edge, if you are interested in developing your brand presence, give us a shout.

Why a failing business is like a plane crash

Tuesday, April 5th, 2011

Have had someone clever point out to me recently that planes don’t just fall out of the sky.  When a plane crashes it is generally the combination of seven consecutive errors, each too insignificant to take the plane down alone, but in succession critical.  The errors are usually made by people, and often very highly trained people.  This is why plane crashes are rare.

Having spent time recently with a couple of businesses needing to turnaround or risk failing themselves, I realise the echoes of this analogy.  A combination of minor errors within your business process (or people) can combine to catastrophic consequences.  Each may seem minor, which is why I think they are often left alone, but boy do they need fixing, really as soon as spot them. If you would like a fresh pair of eyes to take a look, give us a call.

What’s market value?

Tuesday, March 22nd, 2011

It’s a pretty important question for businesses with a less tangible end product, how should their output be priced? 

There are a number of dynamics at play, your own break even cost, the opportunity cost (i.e. what else could you be doing with your time), your appetite for the work, the stage in your development, what kudos or brand damage might be attracted, clients depth of pocket, history, competition and so on.  Then comes the question of price vs. value.

I prefer to keep it simple. 

What you charge should be based on the market price plus what ever premium you can happily attract from your cutomer for the level of differentiation you have created.  If you want to know how, then give us a ring.

Brand extension vs new name

Thursday, March 3rd, 2011

We are at the late stages of a new business launch that is being delivered as a brand extension.  It makes me think about the elasticity of some names, where they can go and where they can’t.  It also raises some questions about sub-brands.

Where a brand can go to depends on both its customers and its values.  You can conceive buying fruit with sports branding, but a car marque on paracetemol?

In this case the company is very well regarded in it is field, and the customers it intends to serve are the same under the brand extension as under the established brand operations. So all good.

However, this is the fifth ‘sub’-brand under the master brand, what next?

What’s a Markitect?

Wednesday, November 24th, 2010

I think I might be.  At least that is my five-year olds opinion of what Dad does.  It’s accidental of course, he’d heard marketing and seen me with an architects drawings and merged the two – but I like the sentiment.

Architect’s design structures, marketers get your message to market – markitects then perhaps can design businesses to get the most out of their markets.

Thoughts on choosing a brand name

Saturday, October 23rd, 2010

Is deciding on a name for a new business, or a new name for an exisiting business really that hard?

Firstly the situations are differnet.  Naming a new business is easier than renaming a going concern.  There is less heritage to deal with, fewer external parties to communicate with and less hurdles from inside the company (or companies).

Hints on naming a new business:

  • does your choice of name give potential customers any clue what you do or why you are different?
  • does it give you the scope to grow in the future, are you limiting your future options by accident?
  • can you have a sensible web address online and legally register it at companies house?
  • is it close or similar to any other companies, will it lead to any confusion amongst your customers?
  • how will it work with search engine optimisation?
  • will it translate well into logo design, and suit the uses you need from it?
  • do you need a name and a strapline, or can one version work for you?
  • do you actually like it, are you proud of it and will you feel ‘right’ when talking to people about?

Thoughts on renaming a going concern.  Don’t.  Unless you really, really need to.  Why might you need to:

  • you cannot grow under the old brand
  • there is a serious problem with the reputation of your current brand (and you are sure that repairing perceptions and keeping the name can’t be made to work)
  • a merger is taking place between equally well known parties