Check your brand foundation

Are your brand's basic values still relevant for tomorrow's customers? When you are building ever higher, it's a good idea to check your foundations. After all, marketing hasn't got any simpler in recent years. Since the digital revolution, the possibilities for personalised, contextual messages are almost infinite and the Internet of Things (IoT) is still only in its early stages. So, as a modern marketer, you have to be on the ball with the right people and tools at your fingertips.

Ask your colleagues

A short, internal test will already give you a good idea. Ask your colleagues what your brand stands for and what differentiates you from your major competitors – an elevator pitch, shall we say. If you get no clear answer, or even varying answers, then that should start ringing alarm bells. If your own people don't know, then how do you expect to make the difference for your customers?

Ask your customers

So what about your customers? How do they perceive your brand or product? Are you happy with that? There is a good chance that you don't know. Especially in a sales-driven environment where sales figures are the only real parameter. Everyone knows your brand, don't they? And customers keep buying, so what's the problem? Maybe you can't see any problem today. The question is whether your brand or product remains a household name.

Maybe you can't see any problem today. The question is whether your brand or product remains a household name. 

Just as we have got used to the millennials or generation Y, generation Z (born between 1994 and 2010) is entering the picture. They grew up with Facebook, web shops, Uber, Airbnb and permanent connectivity. For them, a brand is only as valuable as they, themselves, perceive it to be, not because any poster attempts to convince them. The opinions of friends and influencers weigh more heavily than those of an anonymous 'satisfied customer'.

Ask yourself why

So it's worth taking a look at the basis of your brand. Apart from an internal or external questionnaire, there is also another exercise you can carry out: apply the principle of the golden circle to your own brand. Start off with why rather than what. Why, as a brand, you do what you do? What is your brand's reason for being? Then describe how you put that into practice and the resulting products and services. That might sound simple, but it's the very least you need to do to avoid getting bogged down in clichés.

Ask yourself for whom

This is an initial, important step towards customer centricity, a principal many claim but few put into practice. Who exactly are your clients? Do you really know them and are they all the same? If you want to approach them more personally, with relevant messages, then you also need to know what drives them and how best you can help them. So create personas and analyse their customer journey. Do that with as many people as possible from various departments within your company. This is a real must! 

Who exactly are your clients? Do you really know them and are they all the same?

So, dear marketer, down your tools for a moment and check your foundation. That will ensure you a solid basis for the coming generations. What comes after Z, incidentally?

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