How Does Your Brand Compare With The Competition?

By Chris Wadsworth

Published in The Source issue 28

Every business has a brand, whether it is intentional or not. Knowing how your brand compares with others in your industry can give you an opportunity to create an advantage over your competitors.

One of the first things we do on any branding project is a competitor analysis. Seeing who is out there and what they are doing gives us valuable insights and allows us to identify benchmarks that need to be exceeded to deliver successful branding.

Do your own competitor analysis

It’s possible to do your own competitor analysis without the help of a branding agency. Create a visual record of your competitors’ websites, brochures, adverts and other marketing materials. You then need to review the messages and offers they make to determine their positioning, their point of difference and their brand values. For each of your competitors ask yourself if they look professional and if they distinguish themselves from others in your industry.

Review your brand

Once you have your competitor analysis you need to review your own company’s branding in the same way. Doing an honest review can be a revealing and important activity that will provide a good perspective on your industry and identify how you compare.

What if nobody in your industry has good branding?

We’ve found that some industry sectors we’ve researched have poor branding which leads our clients to ask – should we bother to rebrand?

In these instances there is a great opportunity to gain a competitive advantage by creating professional branding that will set you apart from your competitors. Imagine when a customer researches your industry and they see one company that distinguishes itself and stands head and shoulders above the rest. That company will see an increase in enquiries and more sales because of the effective communication and professional presentation that branding provides.

You should also remember that industries with poor branding make it easier for a marketing savvy start-up to enter the marketplace and take market share fast. Once you let another player get established and take customers it’s hard to get those customers back.

If most of your competitors have good branding, what should you do?

Some industry sectors have very high levels of branding. For example, banks have a similar offer to each other and rely on branding to distinguish themselves from competing banks. As a result the banking sector generally has a high level of professional branding. If you find yourself looking at your competitors and thinking that your branding doesn’t match up then branding is an essential aspect of your company’s future success. If the bar is set high and you don’t measure up you will find yourself repeatedly losing out to your competitors because of branding.

Do you need to rebrand?

As a branding specialist I often witness the benefits companies receive from rebranding. That said, rebranding is something that needs to be done right that requires investment to bring in professional help. It is therefore a decision that needs balanced consideration. If your business is poorly branded then there will always be benefits to rebranding regardless of your competition. If you aren’t clear how your branding compares or what benefits a rebrand will provide you should ask a professional for an appraisal.

Your brand is an important strategic business asset that can bring an array of benefits to your business if done right. Take the time to review your branding and make sure it is working for you.

Posted 18 May 2016

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