When difficult economic times strike, most companies use to pull back on ad and marketing costs thinking this money will be literally thrown away. What they really don’t realize is that advertising and marketing cutbacks motivated by fear could weaken brand relationships as customers might feel unnoticed or disregarded by the brand, situation that could lead customers to identify the brand as fragile or even indifferent to them. Therefore, it could get a lot easier for a more aggressive competitor to step in and take that customer away. In short, most companies stop moving forward as they just worry about surviving economic hardships.
“However, it doesn’t even cross their minds the possibility of taking advantage of the whole economic situation to get ahead of their competitors. When no one else is on the spotlight, that’s when you have to come up to the front and get your message to the audience. Since they’re not been aggressively bombarded, your message will get to them more directly, and it could be achieved with a modest investment,” said Ray Rosado, president and creative director of Mosado, one of the few local firms fully dedicated to strategic branding and creative design.
Bad economic circumstances usually generate new opportunities, “you just have to be brave enough to go beyond where no one else even dares to take a look at.” Mosado can actually create a branding strategy according to a company’s budget so that in difficult times, they can stand ahead of their competitors rather than stay behind, which certainly nobody wants. So, in a sense, Mosado may become a great ally who is truly willing to help any company get across the road during tough economic times.
“The competition is fierce but in bad times, it just takes a little bit of aggressiveness along with an intelligent and carefully planned branding strategy that monitors results to thrive,” commented Rosado, who started Mosado nearly four years ago and has done extremely well because of its carefully crafted branding strategies tailored to its customers’ needs.
What is a brand? It basically is a customer experience represented by a collection of images and ideas. “A successful brand comes out of the thorough process of creating a visual experience intended to make customers feel more familiar with a certain product,” commented Rosado. However, this customer experience is built upon a carefully planned branding strategy involving, among other aspects, interviews and open communication with the client along with a methodic market study to find out which intangible elements (such as feelings, beliefs, thoughts and ideas) customers tend to associate with the product, entity or service.
Once these intangible elements have been identified, the next step to take would be to turn them into a stunning visual experience, appealing to the market target, which can be achieved by means of graphic elements such as colors, web site, package, stationery, uniforms, ads and so on. And to achieve this, Mosado incorporates a professional marketing consulting approach with the best of intelligent design and creativity. “In any business, it’s all about image and perception. The way you project yourself to consumers will definitely determine the way you will be perceived by them,” stated Rosado, noting once a customer has been riveted onto the product, he or she is more likely to buy or choose it from among hundreds of other similar ones.
In other words, the brand is the cumulus of all distinctive qualities and commitment behind that product. It is what adds value, an identity and credibility to the product. “This is why a strong and well defined brand is the key to either introduce a new product into the market or reposition an existing one in a successful manner,” he said.
However, creating a strong and well established brand goes beyond the visual elements, “it’s about blending the image your company wants to project with its overall business strategy,” said Rosado, adding that another step to take in a company’s branding strategy is the internal marketing, which is marketing from the inside out. “In fact, if a company’s employees are aligned to the brand promise and reflecting its message to the market, this could further reinforce employer’s marketing efforts,” he explained.
How do you know if your branding strategy works? By closely monitoring sales increases. “Most, if not all, of our clients have had a double-digit sales increase compared with the year prior to the implementation of their branding strategy,” said Mosado, who has mainly served big companies in the business-to-business sector but is now expanding its client portfolio to include small businesses as well.