Protecting Your Brand

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Protecting Your Brand

By John Stanley The world is getting smaller and ideas move around the world rapidly. One of the challenges as a retailer is mounting and protecting your brand or retail uniqueness. I am often confronted by clients who are worried that somebody will pinch their ideas. My reaction is always don�t worry; they cannot pinch your brand or image. Why not? The brand or retail uniqueness is not the product, the place, the packaging or the price. These are cloneable features that can easily be stolen and make you vulnerable. There is another �P� that is not cloneable; it�s your people. People can be stolen, but the culture of your team is unique and cannot be stolen. It is the team that protect your brand. Internal Brand Protection To protect your brand, the successful retailer starts with developing internal brand protection by developing a brand culture with the team. This may sound like I am stating the obvious, but research by Tom Peters, The American Marketing Consultant, shows a different picture. His research indicates:- 90% of people in senior management don�t know how to manage the brand 75% of team members don�t know how to support the retail brand 50% of team members felt they were not part of the store brand, it was just a job. These statistics, if they are true for your retail sector mean that there are huge opportunities in the marketplace and that stealing and implementing your ideas would be extremely difficult. It�s not your U.S.P. In my workshops with clients I am often stressing that a business must have a defined and clear U.S.P. (Unique Selling Proposition). I am a great believer that your business needs to be unique, but there is a layer above your U.S.P. It�s your E.S.P. (Emotional Selling Proposition) This is based on what you have developed as an emotional culture within your business. Your E.S.P. is something that is unique to every business and this is something that cannot be stolen. It�s your E.S.P. that makes the difference. The key is to have a positive proactive E.S.P. Be Different, be Proactive Research carried out by Tom Peters, the American marketing guru indicates what opportunities exist if you have a clear understanding of your brand. This is because:- 90% of managers don�t know how to manage their brand 75% don�t support the brand (a sure recipe for a loss in market share) 50% don�t even know what a brand is in their organization Having said that, if you provide a clear brand strategy and communicate it to your team members, look at the positive results. If the team are provided with a vision and are happy with the direction they are 30% less likely to leave the business. This is a saving of 1 in 5 salaries in the business. They are also more likely to have above average productivity and will communicate the values of the business 25.9% more effectively (Ref. Peter Janho, General Manager, Fina Hygiene Paper Products, United Arab Emirates). John Stanley is a conference speaker and retail consultant with over 25 years experience in 15 countries. John works with retailers around the world assisting them with their merchandising, staff and management training, customer flow, customer service and image. www.johnstanley.cc