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From Flabby to Fit: How a Brand Consultant Can Transform Your Business
You’ve committed to getting in better shape. You start a new workout regimen – jogging on the treadmill for 30 minutes every morning, lifting weights 3 times a week, taking Pilates classes after work, and eating healthier. You’re motivated and feel like you’re making progress with your new routine.
But after a few weeks, frustration starts to creep in. The muscle soreness and fatigue aren’t translating into the results you wanted. The shape and tone you envisioned isn’t materializing. You expected your clothes to fit better by now and your energy levels to be higher.
That’s when you decide to get some extra help by hiring a personal trainer. Someone with the knowledge, experience, and skills to provide you with the structure, accountability, and individualized guidance to finally achieve your fitness goals. Generic advice alone wasn’t cutting it. You want personalized direction tailored specifically to your needs, abilities, and schedule to get you where you want to be.
Hiring a personal trainer to help transform your body is a lot like hiring a brand consultant to help transform your business. Finding the right expert consultant can provide the focus, discipline, and inspiration needed to take your brand to the next level.
The Role of Branding Agency
Just as a personal trainer offers specialized expertise in fitness, branding and marketing agencies provide specialized capabilities to strengthen your brand. Branding agencies are laser-focused on developing compelling brand identities and strategies. Advertising agencies excel at making brands visible through advertising, digital marketing, and SEO optimization. Creative agencies bring brands to life through inspired design and storytelling.
Depending on your business needs, partnering with the right agency can provide the skills and manpower needed to build awareness, shape perception, create, and drive results. An outside perspective is invaluable. Here is an overview of key agency capabilities:
Develop brand strategies and positioning
Create visual brand identities and design systems
Guide brand architecture and portfolio strategy
Provide brand training and guidelines
Plan and execute advertising campaigns
Manage digital marketing and social media
Optimize SEO and increase site traffic
Develop content strategies and assets
Design compelling creative concepts
Produce brand films, photography, illustrations
Craft branding elements like logos and packaging
Develop immersive branded experiences
The Importance of Business & Brand Consultants Malaysia and Cultural Awareness
In addition to branding and advertising agencies, business consultants can be hugely beneficial in providing an objective outside perspective. They examine your website, business model and strategies as an impartial outsider and identify gaps and opportunities for improvement you may have overlooked.
In a diverse, fast-changing market like Asia, business consultants also play a critical role in ensuring branding resonates locally and avoids cultural missteps. International brands seeking to expand in the region must recognize that messaging and imaging that works in other markets may not translate or may even offend. Enlisting local consultants ensures your branding is culturally attuned.
What is a Brand Consultant?
A brand consultant is an expert who provides strategic advice and guidance to companies looking to improve their brand identity and performance. Brand consultants help identify and hone effective branding strategies, spot opportunities for growth, innovation and development, and tackle any challenges holding the brand back.
Just like a personal trainer assesses your fitness baseline, nutritional needs, and lifestyle to customize a training program for you, a brand consultant works closely with your company to deeply understand where you currently are, where you want to be, and what it will take to get there. They provide an objective outside perspective on your brand’s strengths, weaknesses, and potential.
Ultimately, a seasoned brand consultant can help strengthen your brand’s visibility, consistency, relevance and results – imagine your brand with chiseled six-pack abs!
What’s the Difference Between a Brand Consultant and Strategist?
The terms “brand strategist” and “brand consultant” are often used interchangeably. However, some people make the following distinctions:
A brand strategist is focused on developing long-term, big picture branding goals and strategies for a company. Their work includes defining target demographics, crafting a unique value proposition, determining the optimal marketing mix to reach audiences.
A brand consultant offers more hands-on guidance and expertise to help companies execute on strategy. They advise clients on reshaping and recharging brand image, performance, and communication for relevance.
At the end of the day, brand strategists and consultants serve complementary roles. The strategist charts the branding course, while the consultant helps steer day-to-day. Don’t get too caught up in titles. Focus instead on finding an expert who understands your business goals and can deliver results.
What Exactly Does a Brand Consultant Do in an Marketing Agency?
Brand consultants wear many hats and can provide support on a wide range of branding initiatives. Their responsibilities typically include:
Research + Insights + Marketing Solutions
Conducting market research to identify category trends, consumer behaviors, and insights that may impact a brand’s positioning or strategy. For example, analyzing how emerging health trends are affecting consumer snacking habits.
Performing voice of customer analyses using surveys, interviews, and focus groups to better understand current consumer pain points, needs, motivations and jobs-to-be-done. For instance, diving into why stay-at-home moms are defecting to start-up brands.
Developing detailed buyer personas and segmentation analyses to ensure messaging resonates with priority customer groups. Bringing targeted segments like “fitness-focused moms” to life.
Performing competitive brand audits and SWOT analyses to objectively assess how the brand stacks up against rivals, gaps in the market, growth opportunities as well as identifying where competitors are outperforming.
The goal is gathering data-driven consumer, category, and competitor insights to inform marketing strategy and decisions.
Facilitating visioning and goal setting sessions to help define where the brand wants to be in 3-5 years and key steps to get there. Painting an inspirational vision of the future.
Working collaboratively to develop a brand strategy focused on achieving business goals. Determining the optimal brand positioning and brand architecture.
Guiding efforts to craft a compelling brand purpose, core values, and brand promise that tap into functional and emotional consumer motivations. Articulating the brand’s reason for being.
Providing recommendations on pricing, channel and geographic expansion, partnerships, and other go-to-market initiatives to fuel growth. Identifying the most viable pathways to win.
Translating research insights, core messaging, and brand strategy into impactful creative ideas and executions across channels. Aligning visual identity with brand positioning.
Optimizing branding real estate – the website, signage, logo, packaging, catalogs, sales materials, trade show presence and more – to create cohesive customer experiences and drive performance. Identifying quick branding wins.
Offering guidance on effectively showcasing brand purpose and values through company culture, employee training, internal communications, and more. Building authentic brand engagement.
Collaborating to develop comprehensive brand guidelines and usage manuals to maintain brand integrity across global regions, business units, and touchpoints. Providing a blueprint for success.
The best brand consultants meld strategy with inspired creativity to make brands matter more to those who matter most.
Top 10 Signs You Need a Brand Consultant for Your Marketing
Here are some of the most common scenarios where partnering with a brand consultant can provide big benefits:
Your company or industry has undergone major changes recently. Everything is shifting – competitors, customer expectations, technologies, regulations. You need an expert assessment to help respond.
Your leadership team seems stuck. You’re having trouble developing a clear path forward and game plan to address challenges and opportunities. You need outside perspective.
Revenue and market share growth has plateaued. You need fresh ideas and strategies to recharge growth.
You’re expanding into new geographic markets or customer segments. You need help adapting and translating your brand for new audiences.
You’ve been through a major merger, acquisition, or spin-off recently. The brand portfolio needs rationalizing.
You’re launching a new product line or service aimed at a distinct target segment. It needs a brand identity and strategy.
Your brand feels outdated—perhaps its glory days were 5, 10, or 50 years ago. A brand rejuvenation is in order.
Your website is ineffective – disjointed, overly salesy, bloated with features vs. benefits. It needs to be reimagined and realigned with brand strategy.
You’ve never done systematic tracking of brand performance metrics. You have no idea how you stack up against competitors on brand awareness, consideration, loyalty, or advocacy.
Customer profiles seem vague, overly broad, and fuzzy. You need clarity on who your real target audiences are and what drives their behaviors.
If any of these scenarios apply, your brand could likely benefit from the strategic counsel and expertise of an experienced brand consultant. Even brands that feel strong right now should tap consultants periodically for tune-ups and guidance on staying ahead.
The Bigger the Change or Challenge, the Greater the Need for a Brand Consultant
Every company faces some degree of change and uncertainty in today’s business landscape. But those undergoing or anticipating major changes often have the most to gain from partnering with a brand consultant. Why? Because strategic branding programs take time. The more lead time you give your brand consultant before the big changes hit, the better prepared and equipped your brand will be to tackle challenges and seize opportunities.
Imagine you just learned your biggest competitor was bought out by a much larger CPG company. Or you’re facing impending technology disruption to your industry. Or you’ll soon be launching a game-changing new product line unlike anything you’ve produced before.
In all these scenarios, the value of a brand consultant is enormous. An expert can help objectively assess the situation, get smart on the surrounding trends, and map out data-driven strategies and brand positioning that sets you up for success when seismic changes hit.
While every company and situation is different, some circumstances that often benefit from urgent brand consulting attention include:
Fast-growing companies on a steep growth trajectory. Brand strategy struggles to keep pace and brand identity feels fragmented. Hard to scale culture and customer experience.
Mature companies losing relevance amid demographic, technological, or cultural shifts. Brand feels “stuck in time” and disconnected from today’s customers. Needs rejuvenation and repositioning.
Companies facing disruptive competition from digital-first upstarts attacking with differentiated brands. At risk of losing dominance and share.
Industries facing technology transformation that disrupts business models, operating norms, and consumer behaviors. Risk being left behind is high.
Corporate carve-outs or spin-offs that require building distinctive new brands during the transition. HR, IT, finance functions may need branding support during complex separation.
Mergers and acquisitions involving issues of brand consolidation, portfolio optimization, and integration. Careful brand architecture strategy is needed.
Private equity funded companies looking to maximize valuation upon exit through acquisition or IPO. Need nurturing and differentiation during the building phase.
In all of these pivotal scenarios, an expert brand consultant brings vision, know-how, analytics, creativity and urgency to ensure your brand is primed for success during times of unprecedented change and challenge.
The Building Blocks of Brand Transformation
An experienced brand consultant guides companies through an orchestrated branding process designed to build competitive advantage and drive growth. While each engagement is tailored to the brand’s unique objectives, the journey typically includes these foundational elements:
Discovery – Digging into the brand’s history, evaluating existing assets and strategies, gathering data, intelligence and insights through market research.
Strategy – Leveraging learnings to craft strategies for advancing the brand and business, with input across the organization.
Implementation – Turning strategies and insight into action through compelling creative, communications and culture.
Management – Instilling processes to measure progress and maintain brand integrity over time across markets and touchpoints.
This phased approach allows marketing agency and brand consultants to gain an in-depth understanding of the current state and future potential before making recommendations. The focus is practical strategies and achievable objectives – no vague branding “fluff.” Deliverables are concrete, like creative briefs, brand guidelines, messaging frameworks, website redesigns, and launch plans.
At the end of the engagement, you’ll have clear marching orders for connecting your brand story with business strategy to drive measurable results. Just like the personalized training plan and nutritional guidelines your personal trainer gives you to achieve your best body ever.
The Power of Brand Positioning
One of the most important strategic tools in a brand consultant’s toolkit is brand positioning. This refers to defining how your brand occupies a distinct spot in the marketplace to appeal to your target audience. An effective brand positioning statement clearly articulates:
Who your target customers are
The key customer need or problem you solve
The unique value and experience you provide
Why your brand is better suited than competitors
For example, Volvo’s brand positioning focuses on safety and durability for family-oriented car buyers. Disney positions itself as creators of magical entertainment experiences for kids and adults. Singapore Airlines is positioned as a premium carrier delivering world-class service to global travelers.
An insightful brand positioning sets a strategic foundation for all branding efforts – from logo and packaging design to messaging and customer experiences. It ensures alignment across touchpoints. Positioning should resonate emotionally with your audience while differentiating your brand’s strengths.
Brand consultants are experts at identifying white space opportunities for compelling and ownable positioning. They analyze customer data and the competitive landscape to pinpoint areas where your brand can stake a claim and occupy territory in the consumer’s mind. The goal is competitive differentiation.
Bringing a Brand Story to Life
Once brand positioning and strategy are defined, brand consultants work closely with company leaders and internal and creative agency teams to translate positioning into tangible branding elements. The brand narrative must be expressed creatively across touchpoints.
Brand storytelling is a consultant’s forte. They craft engaging narratives that weave together a brand’s purpose, history, products, culture and vision. Storytelling makes intangible brand attributes relatable and memorable for customers.
From a company’s origin story to profiling inspiring employees, brand consultants shape messages that emotionally resonate. Dramatic story arcs and charismatic characters become metaphors for the brand’s values. Clever plot twists highlight problems solved.
Visually, the brand story comes to life through logo design, typography, color palettes, photography styles, illustration, packaging, retail environments, websites, ads, apps, branded content and more. Brand consultants and designers guide development of visual assets to form a cohesive system aligned with positioning.
Memorable storytelling and imagery allows customers to forge relationships with brands. An expert consultant connects inner purpose with outer expression.
Tuning Up Your Brand
Finally, as market dynamics change over time, even strong brands need periodic tune-ups and updates. Customer needs evolve. New competition emerges. Brand extensions are launched. Corporate strategies shift. Digital disruption accelerates.
In these situations, engaging a brand consultant for a brand audit and assessment can reveal areas for improvement:
How does your brand identity and messaging resonate with emerging segments like Gen Z?
Do you need brand differentiation as more competitors crowd your space?
Has your visual identity system become disjointed and inconsistent across touchpoints and products?
Is your brand positioned to capitalize on digital and social media trends?
Are their untapped brand extension opportunities within your category?
The brand diagnostic process allows consultants to identify bottlenecks, inconsistencies, and new openings for growth. Refining and realigning brands is essential to stay relevant in dynamic markets.
Think of brand consultants as trusted counselors who provide an impartial report card. They spotlight areas where brands have drifted from their core or gotten ahead of the marketplace. With an outside-in perspective, they recommend ways for brands to get their mojo back and fire on all cylinders again.
A brand transformation, whether dramatic overhaul or minor tune-up, starts with an honest assessment of where you are. Experienced brand consultants provide the know-how to bridge that gap between your brand’s current state and its full potential. With their help, you can build an agile, resilient brand equipped to stay fit for the future.
Ready to Give Your Brand a Transformation?
If any of the scenarios and challenges described here feel familiar, your brand could be perfectly primed for a brand consultation to maximize its potential and performance. Even strong brands need periodic tune-ups and guidance to stay ahead in today’s ever-changing world.
Roar Point has deep experience working with organizations of all types and sizes to unlock brand opportunities and tackle branding challenges. Our team takes an analytics-driven, creative, and results-focused approach. We get to know your company inside and out to develop strategies and creative solutions tailored to your specific needs.
To learn more about our brand consulting process and how we can help you meet your branding objectives, please book a free discovery call or reach out to the team at Roar Point. We look forward to learning about your brand goals.