Let’s zoom out for a moment to answer a basic question: why spend money on marketing?
The standard answer to this question is something like, you invest in marketing so that you can get leads. The more people know about you, the more money you make. If your marketing is good, you’ll have a bigger return on your investment in the form of added business. If you don’t spend enough, or the marketing efforts aren’t good enough, you’ll have a smaller ROI.
This formulation isn’t necessarily wrong, but it’s a little misleading for omitting one truth that may be hard to swallow for some: better brands have better marketing.
Better brands have better marketing because a good brand communicates more effectively than an underdeveloped brand. So the next question is: how does one get a better brand? strategic planning. It’s the step good brands take before even thinking about a rebrand, or a marketing push.
The point is, you can look all over Orange County for branding agencies who can set you up with a new look and a killer marketing campaign, and yet still be held back significantly by lack of strategic planning. Agencies can help you with the planning process, but if it doesn’t come from you—from your brand—long-term success will be limited.
What does this critical, sometimes overlooked step in branding actually consist of?
- Mission—even if you haven’t vocalized it or written it down on paper, your company has a mission: you want your product or company to do things for people and the world. What stating it clearly does is help your company adhere to it as you grow and change over time. In a sense, nothing is more crucial for your success than knowing the mission.
- Vision—How will you run the business on into the future? This obviously ties in closely with your mission—with that you want your company to bring into the world. Adding a sense of your company’s future shows you how to progress.
- Core Values—Like light houses along a dark coast, your core values, though not directly a part of what your business does, inform and guide your business through an ever-changing environment. In that sense, your values affect everything your company does.
Without knowing where you want to take your company, there is really only so much that marketing can do for you. With an underdeveloped brand strategy, Conversely, if your brand knows itself, any marketing message will resonate louder, stronger, and more clearly. Not all Orange County branding agencies offer strategic planning at the outset—using someone that does can do wonders for getting your message across—for the life of your company.