New entries to business today tend to be fairly savvy. Anyone willing to do a bit of Google searching can learn some common terms and concepts. Everyone knows that conversions (sales) are the goal. So, why are so many being drained of their funds – month after month – by ineffective tactics?
Tactics without Strategy is the Noise before Defeat.
– Sun Tzu
As we know, being able to recognize a term like Branding does not mean that the value of the concept is automatically understood. Yet when it comes to business success, whether for a startup or an existing venture poised to climb to the next level, comprehending the value of a Brand – designed to resonate with the target audience – can literally enable a venture to thrive (or keep it from failing), particularly since effective Brands drive conversion.
Realizing the need to systematically implement foundational elements first, including a well-crafted Brand Identity as the bedrock for business growth, can indeed mean the difference between an operation struggling or failing → and catapulting forward. Ignoring the basics is not a shortcut. That choice, instead, costs volumes of wasted time and money.
Creating and implementing an effective Brand ID is as fundamental as vetting the business concept and model for viability before going to market. There are some core pieces that simply must be in place, setting a company on the right path, in order for add-ons to work at all.
Frequency of confusion about this – plagued by lack of understanding regarding the baseline importance of a systematized approach to the fundamentals – in fact, was the impetus for: Brand Identity – Foundation for Conversion. It highlights why and how the right design and use of a consistent Brand Message (visuals, talking points, alignment across all points of presence) sets the stage for converting new contacts to customers.
What came to light again this week, via a new prospect operation that has been struggling for more than 10 years, confirmed that one article was simply not enough. While clearly there is much more to know behind the scenes in order to create and leverage a Brand effectively, the main message requires more attention in order to arm business owners who are making these decisions.
Regardless of which tactical avenue a company thinks they should use – i.e. increased spending on channels like SEO, PR blasts, or social media ads – they typically expect it to instantly solve their problems and win them sales. In fact, many are led to believe that it can. Without the right foundation in place first, this is simply not true.
The enormous disconnect about ‘tactics first’ is tanking businesses that could otherwise thrive. Aimlessly throwing money around sets a stage for nothing except lost funds. Yet, somehow a dominant segment of eCommerce business owners seems to think that having a high Google rank will score them customers, regardless of how the website presents.
Naturally, this type of confused disconnect has a source. The source here is the deliberately misleading and rabid promotion online of: (1) high website rankings as a Holy Grail, (2) the notion that sweeping PR exposure equates to interest and conversion, and (3) belief that an ad format alone will drive sales.
On the other hand, once crucial foundational pieces are effectively in place, tactical campaigns – that actually align with the strategic business direction – can be introduced. When that occurs, the right tactical channels can be leveraged for beneficial outcomes.
Otherwise, who would expect to gain growth from spraying water at a wall? This is the effect without a system in place to create capture.
Until the ground has been prepared and treated, seeds have been planted, and the soil richly fed, nothing can be expected to grow. Throwing water around where no fertile business soil exists – not to mention seeds – causes only the water bill to skyrocket…rather than the intended sales or profits.
Instead, when a proven systematic approach is used, this positions a business to automate and consistently replicate processes that secure winning results. Vet the concept, develop an effective model, plan strategically, develop and implement the Brand Message, and prepare to choose the right promotional campaigns through a strategic channel selection that will distribute the message in the most favorable directions. All of this should be done prior to launch for optimal outcomes.
With a Brand Identity in place, those who encounter your business for the first time can recognize who you are and what makes you special (why they should do business with you instead of the competition) instantly. They will begin to recall your differentiated value each time they digest the consistent Brand Message and see the aligned visuals, leading to Brand Recognition.
Like irrigation, every tactical campaign layered on top of a properly established foundation: enhances your position, increases traction, and causes a higher rate of conversions. Now, the money invested in replicable tactics is getting your message to the right place, poised for effective outcomes, rather than falling into a vacuum.
If you were either unfamiliar with these distinctions prior, or were misled – having launched by trying one of many spray-the-wall methods (without a systematic and strategic foundation) – it is never too late to put the right pieces in place. Channel those valuable funds, and that crucial time, in a productive direction.
Strategy must precede tactics every time. Set the stage first. Look at the big picture. Consider the targets, goals, and resources available (budget, personnel, etc.). Taking time to put the right pieces in place will change the entire landscape, and favorably impact the outcomes: in this case, setting the stage for effective conversions, and setting a course for profitability.
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