Four steps (back) to the Relevant SetEver had the feeling that people have simply forgotten about you? What can be an unpleasant feeling for a private person is a marketing disaster for a company. If you are no longer visible or remembered, your customers and partners are just one step away from turning to your competitors. Above all, this is the fate that awaits companies who have neglected the strategic management of their brand over the last few years and months. The “excuse” that you had other things on your mind during the Covid-19 pandemic is unfortunately as weak as it is cheap. After all, this crisis has given you the perfect opportunity to question your company’s image and establish a strong market position for the future. But how do you do that? How do you sustainably place your real estate brand in the Relevant Set of your existing, former and potential customers in a post-Covid world?
Step 1: Define your position clearlyThere is no better time than a crisis to question your own positioning in the marketplace with all the vigour you can muster. Who am I? What makes me stand out? Where do I stand, not least in comparison to others? Only those who have an answer to what makes their products, services and brand unique (keyword: Unique Selling Proposition) can also conclusively answer the question of how to position themselves effectively. A critical look in the mirror is essential, with the emphasis on critical. Your unique selling proposition serves as a self-determining factor and must be implemented in strategic brand management at every level of communication. It is the reference point around which the brand is built and is intended to have an external impact.
Step 2: How do internal perceptions measure up against external perceptions?It is undoubtedly a success if you are pleased with what you see in the mirror. But it is of little use if this self-perception does not match up to external perceptions. It is only when you compare internal and external perceptions that you can start on the path to the right position. And only by comparing your self-image with the external image can you develop a consistent overall appearance that can also be communicated credibly. So, it takes more than just collecting and critically examining your own data. It also requires additional data from external sources to achieve the desired position. Using these data and based on your company’s own strengths, you can now define your brand’s ideal position, one which will be successful on the market and accepted by customers.
Step 3: Brand management measures – external and internalOnce you have clearly defined your brand message and position, you then need to communicate them to the outside world. To be heard, it is important to generate a certain number of touchpoints. The more times the customer comes into contact with your brand, the higher the probability that you will not be forgotten. The magic words, especially in times of Covid-19, are cross-media content marketing. Your primary goal is to get the right content out in a way that goes viral. Especially in times of uncertainty like the corona crisis, customers look to strong brands as trusted anchor points. This trust must be built through authentic content marketing along the entire customer journey. It is the best possible investment for the time after the crisis. What many people forget: As a rule, you can only present your brand authentically to the outside world if you have already done so internally within the company. “Salespeople” are all the more successful when they truly believe in their product. In order to create this confidence within your company, you can start by developing in-house brand guides and structures that promote communication of the relevant information at all levels of the company.
Step 4: The reality checkOnce you have developed and implemented your brand strategy on the basis of the previous steps, you need to retrospectively check whether it meets your brand’s objectives and requirements. Whereby “retrospectively” is perhaps a misnomer, since you actually need to analyse the strategy and its impact on a permanent and ongoing basis throughout the entire implementation process. You need to continuously review the results of the measures you have implemented. And to do this, you need data-driven marketing, which not only relies on the precise analysis of data relating to the market and internal and external perceptions, but also on data that assess the impact of your brand work. If you are not proactive and data-driven in this process, you will negate the essential interplay between your own brand promise on the one hand, and market requirements and long-term customer needs on the other. It is important to take advantage of well-established tools that allow you to interpret data, measure the success of your marketing activities, identify your weaknesses and analyse your brand’s KPI successes. Using these tools, you can ensure that your marketing campaigns and brand management measures remain relevant and effective at all times. At the end of the day, you will know if you have successfully completed this strategic process if you can answer the following questions conclusively and with valid data: Have you expanded and capitalised on the existing strengths and potentials of your brand? Has your corporate brand become stronger, in the sense of a broader and more precise perception both internally and externally? Have your customers become more loyal and have you (re)established your company in its Relevant Set? „With this in mind – continue to nurture your most important asset – your brand“
With branded regards
Ihr Harald Steiner
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